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VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: STRONG LAUNCH FOR POLY.

Byline: Daily News

For the past two seasons, Poly High has been bounced in the semifinals of the City Section playoffs. The second-seeded Parrots, hoping to reverse that trend, and opened the 2000 season City Championship tournament Tuesday with an impressive 15-10, 15-2, 15-11 victory over 15th-seeded Eagle Rock.

Poly (14-0) used 18 kills by Ivan Cuevas and 14 kills by Alex Vallejo as it overwhelmed the visiting Eagles (11-3). Oscar Garcia led the Parrots with 20 assists and Vallejo chipped in with 17.

``Hopefully, this is our year to get into that championship game,'' coach John Ford said. ``These guys have been together for three years and this is our best chance to do it. We've got a very, very solid team.''

- Jack Pollon

In other City Championship openers:

--Garfield d. Chatsworth 3-1: Junior middle blocker Matt Gudis had nine kills and four blocks in a 7-15, 15-4, 15-2, 15-8 loss for visiting Chatsworth (8-6).

The No. 12 Chancellors scored 14 of the final 17 points to win the first game. Fifth-seeded Garfield (13-1) responded with a 36-6 run to win the next two games and take a 6-0 lead into the fourth.

Paul George had 32 assists and Matt Cornell and Jeff Sperling contributed six and five kills respectively for Chatsworth.

--Venice d. Granada Hills 3-1: Kyle Morrison had 17 kills, seven digs and four blocks to lead the Gondoliers (14-0) to a 15-8, 15-6, 10-15, 15-11 victory over the Highlanders (10-4).

After trailing 6-10 in game four Venice went on a 9-1 run behind the serving of Morrison, who also had two aces.

Derek Saenz and Adam Ghonien each had 17 kills and four aces for Granada Hills. Aaron Huberman added 50 assist. Jhonien had two aces to lead the Highlanders to a game three victory.

- Rob Moscato

--Taft d. Fremont 3-0: Taft improved to 14-0 with a 15-4, 15-2, 15-6 win over the visiting Pathfinders (10-5).

The match gave coach Doug Magorien a chance to give all players game experience. Although many contributed, the Toreadors were led by Bryan Capper, who had seven kills and had four aces.

Pepperdine-bound Michael Gledhill added five kills as did Yanir Shimoh in his first varsity game since moving up from the JV squad for the tournament.

The Pathfinders could never answer Taft's offense and didn't get on the board until Taft had scored 11 points.

- Stephen Collins

--Grant d. Roosevelt 3-0: The Lancers showed how to close with a three- game sweep of the visiting Roughriders, winning 15-10, 15-12, 15-13.

Grant rallied in each of the games, scoring six of the final eight points in the initial bout and seven of the last eight in the middle game. The Lancers overcame a 10-7 deficit in the final game by tallying eight of the last 11 points.

Middle blockers Michael Charleston (nine kills, 10 blocks) and Krishna Evans (10 kills, seven blocks) led the Lancers (11-3) at the net. Setter Nino Loquellano had 37 assists while outside hitter Robert Kelly had two aces and six digs for Grant.

``When we played well, we played very well,'' said coach Howard Cahn. ``Still, we didn't have a very good game. But we did come through in the clutch.''

Opposite hitter Ronald Roiz had nine kills for No. 4-seeded Grant.

- Gary Miereanu

--Monroe d. Westchester 3-1: Esteban Aldana had 18 assists and eight digs to lead the host Vikings past the Comets 9-15, 15-0, 15-6, 15-4.

Monroe (11-3), seeded sixth, used a balanced attack to overcome an opening-game loss and sweep the next three games. Duke Ta had 10 kills and five digs and Arthur Llanes added 12 assists.

Oscar Avelar contributed seven kills and Vincent Pieu had five digs and three aces as the Vikings advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals.

- George Vranau

In City Invitational playoff openers:

--Marshall d. SOCES 3-0: Sherman Oaks CES (11-3) lost 15-2, 15-12, 15-11 to the host Barristers (10-5).

The 14th-seeded CES squad was led by outside hitter A.J. Edwards, who recorded seven kills. Middle blocker Gerald Torres also recorded seven kills and had five blocks.

Marshall, the third seed, was led by outside hitter Javier Leon with 12 kills and setter Eddie Lugo, who recorded 20 assists.

This was CES' first trip to the City playoffs.

- Steve Goldstein

--Sylmar d. Elizabeth Learning Center 3-1: The Spartans (7-7) overcame a sluggish start to post an 11-15, 15-7, 15-11, 15-4 win over the Bulldogs (10-3).

Senior middle hitter Jesus Juarez led Sylmar with 18 kills, and senior Mario Aguilar added 13 kills and seven digs.

Junior setter Eddie Lopez led a superior Spartans passing attack with 42 assists.

- Shawn Clingan

--Kennedy d. Wilson 3-1: Dax Grooms had 33 kills and two blocks, Michael Ko 15 kills and Kevin Tanaka 46 assists as the No. 9-seeded Cougars (5-9) knocked off the No. 8 Mules 15-13, 12-15, 16-14, 15-3 at Wilson.

--No.Hollywood d. Belmont 3-1: Ken Hauser had 27 kills and six blocks and Abner Aguilar added 10 kills and Eric Roller nine kills as the No. 4-seeded Huskies (8-5) defeated the Sentinels 11-15, 15-4, 15-4, 15- 13.

PRIME-TIME PLAYERS

Boys' volleyball

--Dax Grooms (Kennedy) 33 kills

--Ken Hauser (N. Hollywood) 27 kills, 6 blocks

--Esteban Aldana (Monroe) 18 assists, 8 digs

--Ivan Cuevas (Poly) 18 kills

--Jesus Juarez (Sylmar) 18 kills

--Derek Saenz (G. Hills) 17 kills

--Adam Ghoniem (G. Hills) 17 kills

--Alex Vallejo (Poly) 14 kills, 17 assists

--Mario Aguilar (Sylmar) 13 kills, 7 digs

--Aaron Huberman (G. Hills) 50 assists

--Kevin Tanaka (Kennedy) 46 assists

--Eddie Lopez (Sylmar) 42 assists

--Nino Loquellano (Grant) 37 assists

--Paul George (Chatsworth) 32 assists

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 3, 2000
Words:941
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