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Pair earns All-CIF accolades

Girls' volleyball: Bell-Jeff's Cervantes and Stephenson of Burroughs rewarded for fine seasons with awards.

December 16, 2011|BY JEFF TULLY, jeff.tully@latimes.com

It's hard to tell where Jocelyn Cervantes ranks statistically among the best players in the history of the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' volleyball program.

"The record keeping from years past wasn't very good," Bell-Jeff Coach Miguel Segura said. "I don't have numbers for records and things like that. But I'll keep looking."

Even without historical comparisons, Segura admits that Cervantes is definitely among the best athletes to ever compete for the Guards.

That claim was substantiated when the senior outside hitter was named this week to her third All-CIF Southern Section team, as Cervantes was a first-team selection in Division IVA.

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Also winning All-CIF accolades was Burroughs senior outside hitter Megan Stephenson, who earned first-team accolades in Division IIA.

Cervantes, who earned her second straight Santa Cruz Player-of-the-Year honor, had to overcome the struggle of having to rely on a new setter this season. The setter had trouble providing quality sets for the senior early in the campaign.

"Her and her setter started getting things together toward the end of the season," Segura said of Cervantes. "She had some struggles and it was hard for her early on. But she never gave up, battled to get through it, kept playing and put the team on her back."

Cervantes ended what turned out to be a fine four-year career for the Guards. This past season, she tallied 295 kills, 51 aces, 173 digs and 18 blocks. In her four years at Bell-Jeff, Cervantes tallied 1,026 kills and 217 aces.

During her tenure, Bell-Jeff won four straight league titles, posted a 66-25-2 record, advanced to the playoff quarterfinals twice, the semifinals once and the Division IV-A championship in 2009.

"We're really, really proud of what she's done at Bell-Jeff," Segura said. "She has been a star for us for these four years. She is definitely one of the best who has ever played here."

Bell-Jeff (14-7-2) advanced to the CIF Division IV-A quarterfinals, losing to No. 1-seeded Hemet, 21-25, 25-16, 25-27, 25-14,15-8.

Stephenson was Burroughs' go-to player all season, as the senior was voted the Pacific League's Player of the Year.

The Indians (19-4) had a successful season with Stephenson leading the way. Burroughs went undefeated in the Pacific League at 14-0, winning its first crown in four years.

"Whenever we needed a point or we needed a big play we went to Megan," Burroughs Coach Edwin Real said. "And she usually came through."

Stephenson had 337 kills and averaged 16 kills at match. In addition, she tallied 117 digs and 27 aces.

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