Former friends


The friendship is off.

University High volleyball star Naryah Burton buried Lighthouse’s shot at State playoffs. The junior exploited her intimate knowledge of the playing skills of Lighthouse’s four stars against them. She had played with them as a club teammate.

The Wildcats tore open the Saints 25-22, 25-12 and 25-20.

Hmf. What kind of friendship is treachery?

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“It was very bittersweet. I played with them for a year in club,” Naryah says, feeling sorry for her friends but happy with her own performance. “I know how they play, so I kind of used that to my advantage. I didn’t want to beat them bad.”

Allie Scribner, Roxy Photenhauer, Clara Czer and Dahlia Gonzalez went home with no spoils.

Like a spy embedded deep in enemy territory, Naryah utilized espionage of her adversaries’ (former friends’) strengths, weaknesses, strategies, emotional resilence — everything.

It was a hacker’s haul, like the time when North Korea breached the Pentagon’s computers and downloaded top secret military plans of South Korea and the United States against it.

Dirty and devastating.

But as Coach Jessica Scribner points out, not all the blame can be pinned on enemy reconnaissance. As not all the blame can be assigned to notably taller players.

Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica entered the Uni High gym with saucer eyes — like country girls visiting Chicago for the first time and gazing upwards amazed at the skyscrapers. It’s been 10 years since Lighthouse has advanced to semi finals in playoffs.

“We could’ve done it,” Jessica says. “I think we could’ve at least fought harder than they did. They’re not sweating. Sure, we started a little slow. They were so wanting to do good that they didn’t actually do it. They didn’t get down and dirty. Some of them were sweating, but I didn’t see them fighting for it like they normally do. I think some of them were a little lazy.”

Not all was bad. Frida Macías played at a higher-than-normal level. Rally Allie never gave up. Her push in the third game raised the Saints from losing 17-9 to nearly come-from-behind win of 17-17.

Roxy wreaked… Read the rest: High school volleyball in Santa Monica

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