High School Sports

Prep Girls Volleyball: Arroyo Grande Eagles lose a streak, but still perfect in PAC 7

Arroyo Grande High’s Rachel Ventura (11) goes up for a block against Paso Robles’ Karlee Anderson during Thursday’s match.
Arroyo Grande High’s Rachel Ventura (11) goes up for a block against Paso Robles’ Karlee Anderson during Thursday’s match. jmellom@thetribunenews.com

The Arroyo Grande High girls volleyball team won a contest between the PAC 7’s top two teams Thursday night, topping Paso Robles 3-1 at Gil Asa Gym in Paso Robles.

The Eagles (15-2, 8-0 PAC 7), ranked No. 8 in the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A poll, won 25-19, 26-28, 26-24, 25-23.

“It was a very close match,” Arroyo Grande coach Ernie Santa Cruz said. “We showed a lot of character being able to pull those games out. I just told the girls that when we get to this point of the season, we’ve worked way too hard to fold our tent.”

Rachel Ventura led Arroyo Grande with 15 kills, four aces and two blocks, while teammate Nicole Leger added 12 kills, an ace and seven digs.

Madison Ventura chipped in 25 digs and three aces for the Eagles, and Maggi Jo Keffury had 44 assists.

“It just came down to a few mistakes at the wrong time,” Bearcats coach Terry Gutierrez said of the close outcome.

The Bearcats’ second-game win was Arroyo Grande’s first PAC 7 game loss since 2005, ending a 104-game winning streak in league play.

“I’d trade the streak for a 3-1 victory any time,” Santa Cruz said. “We didn’t talk about (the streak) or anything. It’s just a tribute to all the girls who’ve played here the last four years.”

Junior Tess Rountree had 16 kills and four blocks for Paso Robles (12-5, 7-2 PAC 7). Karlee Anderson added 15 kills in defeat.

Despite the loss, Gutierrez was encouraged by the Bearcats’ ability to break the Arroyo Grande games streak, and credited seniors Anderson, Holly Brooks and Maritza Juarez for their leadership.

“This is a very unique team,” she said. “The chemistry has been really good. Hopefully, (taking a game from Arroyo Grande) is something that will push them harder.”

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