GVB: Cate comes up short in five-set CIF semifinal

Pacifica Christian denied Cate a chance to play for a CIF volleyball championship, beating the second-seeded Rams in a five-set CIF Division 4-A semifinal match on Tuesday night in Santa Monica. The set scores were 25-13, 20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11.

“We were right there, we could taste it,” said Cate coach Greg Novak.

Pacifica Christian will play top-seeded Laguna Blanca for the division title on Saturday.

The Rams got off to a slow start and didn’t find their groove until the middle of the second set, when they trailed 13-5.

“Brenna Geiger served a bunch of points,” said Novak. Cate went on a 17-1 run and evened the match at one set apiece.

Pacifica Christian bounced back in the third set and built a big lead before Cate whittled it down to 21-19. The Rams, however, couldn’t pull out a win.

Cate won the fourth set but fell behind in the fifth and never recovered.

“They started feeding everything to No.7 (5-11 outside hitter Maile Lane) and we couldn’t stop here,” said Novak of Pacifica Christian’s attack. “They had a game plan on what to do to beat us.”

Cate had knocked Pacifica Christian from the No. 1 ranking earlier in the season.

Maddie Becker led the Rams with 14 kills and Cydney Pierce added 10 kills.

The tough loss ended Cate’s season at 17-3.

“I told the girls, we have to be proud of our entire season, we did awesome,” said Novak.

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