Temecula Prep sweeps Cal Lutheran, advances to CIF Southern Section Division 8 semis – Press Enterprise
WILDOMAR — California Lutheran’s defense was stellar against Temecula Prep in Wednesday’s CIF Southern Section Division 8 quarterfinal match.
However, the top-seeded Patriots had junior outside hitter Abby Pekrul, who finished those long rallies as Temecula Prep prevailed 25-19, 25-13, 25-21 to reach Saturday’s semifinal match against unseeded Liberty. It’s a match that Temecula Prep, appearing in their second semifinal in five years, will host.
“We definitely came in a bit nervous, but as they settled in the girls focused on the game plan and executed it pretty well,” Patriots coach Donald Reyes said. “As this run has gone on, we’ve done a really good job of sticking to one match at a time and that’s exactly what our mindset will be going towards Saturday.”
Temecula Prep jumped out to an early 9-5 lead behind two aces and a kill from Pekrul, but Erin Braur put down an overpass to put the C-Hawks up 11-10. The Patriots then went on a 5-0 run to take a 20-16 lead on two aces from Angelina Browder and another Pekrul ace. Sidney Gray’s kill polished off a Patriot win in the opening set.
Pekrul, a middle blocker in club who plays on the outside in high school, was brilliant in the second set and recorded seven kills and an ace as the Patriots led from start to finish to take a two-set advantage
“Making the transition to the outside hasn’t been hard at all, and in fact it was easier than I thought it would be,” Pekrul said. “I love that feeling of getting a perfect set, putting it down on the floor and seeing the defense’s frustration when a long rally ends.”
Temecula Prep jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the third set, but California Lutheran made the Patriots earn a sweep, closing the deficit to 22-20 after Brooklyn Popisil’s ace. Temecula Prep ultimately prevailed on a Jane Bacani ace.
“Their hitter was higher than our block and although we dug her out, eventually someone like that will finish,” C-Hawks coach Michael Ash said.
Pekrul led Temecula Prep with 18 kills and three aces, while Allison Schroeder led Cal Lutheran with 11 kills.
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