VICTOR VALLEY — Victor Valley pushed, but Samohi pushed back even harder.

Santa Monica High School’s girls’ volleyball team was taken to five games on Thursday at Victor Valley, but were able to hold off a late rally in the fifth game to advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs.

“We had to play hard,” Head Coach Liane Sato said. “It was a real battle.”

No. 3 seed Samohi won the first game, 25-18, but Victor Valley came back to take the next two, sending the Vikings to the brink of elimination heading into the fourth game. Samohi was able to tie the match at two games each, setting up a dramatic finish.

The deciding game began with both teams racing out to a 6-6 score, but Samohi was able to put the pressure on, going up 13-9 in a game that requires just 15 points to win.

Sato said a few unforced errors by her Vikings brought the game to 13 all, but Victor Valley would serve into the net setting up Samohi for the game winner.

Senior Sarah Krenik would notch a kill to win the game on the next serve advancing Samohi to round three.

Samohi will again take to the road Saturday, this time at Santa Ynez. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Sato said she doesn’t know much about Santa Ynez, but has heard that they “are pretty stacked.”

Santa Ynez features a number of tall players, giving Sato reason to approach the game with caution.

“We feel good,” Sato said of her team’s mood. “We’re just making sure the girls are focused.”

Pacifica Christian sweeps to quarterfinals

Pacifica Christian’s girls’ volleyball team easily swept through Azusa en route to a three-game victory at Crossroads Thursday to advance to the CIF-SS Division 4A quarterfinals.

The win (25-15, 25-13, 25-21) sets up a home game against Fairmont Prep on Saturday at Culver City High School. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Lighthouse Christian goes distance for win

It took five games, but Lighthouse Christian’s girls’ volleyball team was able to get past Orangewood Academy Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 5AA playoffs.

Next for Lighthouse is a road match at Calvary Chapel Saturday at 7 p.m.

daniela@www.smdp.com

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