CITY BRACKET: AVELAR, MONROE STOP GRANADA HILLS MONROE 3, GRANADA HILLS 2.
It's a dysfunctional family but a family nonetheless.
The Monroe of North Hills boys' volleyball team fought and bickered its way to a league title and a No. 4 seeding in the City Section playoffs. So why should its first-round match against Granada Hills on Tuesday night be any different?
It wasn't, but as they have all season, the Vikings found the love long enough to eliminate the 13th-seeded Highlanders 8-15, 15-2, 14-16, 15-13, 15-5.
Monroe (12-2) faces No. 5 Venice - a team the Vikings beat earlier in the season - in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Whether it's in practice or matches, the slightest hint of adversity sends Monroe into a tizzy. As junior middle blocker Oscar Avelar explained, ``It's miscommunication (and) stupid little errors that make us mad, and then we don't know who to blame, so we blame ourselves.''
Granada Hills (7-7) did its part to frustrate the Vikings, denying them four game points in the third game before winning it. Then, in the fourth game, the Highlanders stopped Monroe on game point five more times, cutting the deficit from 14-8 to 14-13, before Monroe finally won it.
Once again, Avelar was the key for Monroe. He had 15 of his match-high 30 kills in the final two games and added 19 digs. He received help from setter James Zandueta (13 kills, four aces) and outside hitter Gil Lingamen (12 kills, 19 digs).
Monroe coach Bob Berrenson is well aware of Avelar's talents. However, he also knows his team's potential for implosion. Even while the Vikings sailed through the Valley Mission League, players sniped and muttered under their breath, just loud enough for their intended audience to hear them.
It was the worst it has been all season on Tuesday, Berrenson said.
Gil Lingamen (3) of Monroe goes high to spike ball against the defense of Aaron Huberman (16) of Granada Hills.
Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||May 9, 2001|
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