Cerritos eliminates West Valley from CIF-Southern Section semifinals
■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
This year, West Valley High School’s boys volleyball team made it all the way to round four of the CIF Southern Section playoffs and became local heroes. Would they go on to the finals, after taking on the Dons? Going into last Wednesday’s semifinals, the Mustangs were thinking positively, and had the West Valley Cheerleaders in the house to encourage them.
But the Dons turned out to be quite the competitors – Cerritos took the first point and kept the Mustangs at a respectable distance. Despite ferocity from both teams, Cerritos took round one 25-19.
Round two saw West Valley take the first point this time, but from there the Dons took the ball and drove their point home: They were here to play hard. And so hard did they play, that they nearly killed a few ceiling tiles along the way. This time, the Dons took it 25-12. It was now or never for the Mustangs.
In between rounds, the cheerleaders performed entertaining routines and tossed freebies to waiting Mustang fans, helping to fan their fans’ inner flames for round three.
The Dons drew first blood in the third round in their effort to saddle the Mustangs, and they galloped away with a lead a few spikes later. The ref in the crow’s nest took a few hits in the middle of all this, but he took them like a true champ. And just as it looked like Game Over for Cerritos’ winning ways, the Dons managed to make a comeback, closing a five-point deficit to nil and then taking back the lead, ending with a score of 25-22.
Coach Shawn Pulsipher wasn’t fazed by the loss and felt nothing but Mustang pride for his boys.
“To be honest, I couldn’t be happier for my guys for making it this far; they improved so much throughout the season to get to this point, to make a deep CIF run,” he said. “This is the farthest we’ve gotten in the school’s history.”
The hundreds who showed up to cheer on the Mustangs certainly registered some major decibels in the gym. “The fan support tonight was incredible; I love the support we got for tonight’s game!”