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Bell-Jeff girls' volleyball keeps streak alive against Providence

Girls' volleyball: Guards earn four-game nonleague victory at home to notch seventh straight victory against rival Pioneers.

October 01, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Roger Wilson / Staff…)

BURBANK — Already hobbled by a partially hyper-extended right knee, Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' volleyball player Amanda Maalouf fell to the court Tuesday during the fourth game of a nonleague match against Providence.

Clutching her injured knee, the senior setter took some time, hoping the pain would dissipate.

PHOTOS: Bell Jeff vs. Providence girls' volleyball

"I was just hoping that if I took a little time the pain would go away," said Maalouf, a four-year starter. "Although it hurt, there was no way I was coming out."

That's because the Guards made it one of their goals this season to beat the cross-town rival Pioneers. Plus, there was a six-year winning streak against Providence at stake for Bell-Jeff.

With Maalouf directing the Guards on the floor, Bell-Jeff was able to withstand a solid defensive effort by Providence to earn a 26-24, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21 victory against the visiting Pioneers.

The win is the seventh straight against the Pioneers for the Guards, who haven't lost to their rivals since 2006.

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"Being a senior this year and having never lost to them before, I felt that I had to step up and try and play the best that I could," said Maalouf, who had 32 assists, 14 digs and two aces. "We all know about the streak and we wanted to keep it going this year and hopefully set an example for the girls who will be back next year."

It was the first taste of the city rivalry for first-year Bell-Jeff Coach Brandon Johnson. He said although maintaining the winning streak was important to his players, he has to look at the bigger picture.

"We set goals at the beginning of the year and being in the same city I know some our girls are friends with some of the girls on their team," he said. "To beat them was one of the goals that we wanted to accomplish this season. So, one goal accomplished and many more hopefully to come.

"I talked with the girls prior to this season and we are not so much focused on streaks or what has happened before this season, but we have to instead be concentrated on what we have to accomplish this season."

Two prominent Bell-Jeff (4-0) streaks could be on the line Thursday when the Guards open Santa Cruz League play at St. Anthony. Bell-Jeff has a 52-match unbeaten league streak and the Guards haven't lost a league contest since 2006. The program has also captured seven straight league championships.

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