GG spikers seen win streak snapped

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The Garden Grove girls volleyball team snapped its 23-game win streak in the semifinals of the CIF division 4AA playoffs as they lost to top seeded Alta Loma High on Nov. 18.

Garden Grove loss the playoff match in three sets: 19-25, 19-25, 17-25.

The Argonauts felt their first loss of the season deep in this year’s playoffs, which is summed up perfectly by the team’s head coach Frankie Perales: “It’s bittersweet.”

The Garden Grove girls volleyball team snapped its 23-game win streak in the semifinals of the CIF division 4AA playoffs as they lost to top seeded Alta Loma High on Nov. 18.

Garden Grove loss the playoff match in three sets: 19-25, 19-25, 17-25.

The Argonauts felt their first loss of the season deep in this year’s playoffs, which is summed up perfectly by the team’s head coach Frankie Perales: “It’s bittersweet.”

“It was a sweet season,” added Perales. “Today’s loss, that’s the bitter part, but nevertheless my girls played hard and fought hard, and I have to give credit to them.”

Argo Lauga Gauta was held by Loma's highly organized backline to only 17 kills on the night. Loma found a way to stop Gauta from delivering consistent kills throughout the match, which resulted in a frustrated Argo side later in the match.

“[In the last set] I told them not to give up and that they have to fight,” said Perales. “ I also told them about their body language because it seemed like they got the wind knocked out of them.”

Loma deflated the Argos' undefeated season last week, and they did it by committing the least amount of errors possible.

Missed serves and spikes into the net were the real downfall of the Argos side in the game. This was in part due to the presence of Loma’s blockers on the court.

After Gauta’s first attempt at a kill ended in a huge stuff by Loma’s blockers in the first set, it looked like it would not be the Argos night.

“I feel amazing and extremely proud of my team. They are such a great group of girls and they’ve worked their butts off to get to this level,” said Loma head coach Tishanna Pope.

Despite Gauta’s staggering season, which has seen her achieve over 200 kills, Loma’s key to victory had little to do with paying special attention to the dangerous hitter.

“We honestly didn’t know anything about her,” said Pope. “My team focused on their side of the net. Even when [Gauta] was going up and hitting, they weren’t frazzled. That’s what they wanted. They wanted really tough competition and they got it.”

The Braves showed their composure under some tough conditions as Garden Grove’s gym wasn’t quiet for a second the entire night.

The Argos’ supporters poured into the gym by the hundreds and they definitely made themselves known.

Loma had to play under very loud conditions, whether it was while serving or digging out a ball, but the Braves showed why they were seeded at the top of the pack going into the playoffs and landed themselves a spot in the final.

“It was one heck of a season,” said a tearful Gauta in a post-game interview. “We fought really hard just to get here and it's just emotional. I just love our team.”

It was a tough loss for the 6-foot-1 senior, but Gauta definitely has the makings of a top player at the college level. Currently, Gauta is looking to go on and play competitively in college on an athletic scholarship but has not made an official decision.

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