Lowell’s 12th in row is a thriller

The Lowell girls’ volleyball team claimed its 12th straight San Francisco Section championship with a five-game victory over Lincoln 25-13, 18-25, 22-25, 25-13, 16-14 Thursday at Kezar Pavilion.

To assume that championships come easy after 11 years would disregard both teams.

“We had to fight for every point,” Lowell coach Reva Vrana said. “[Lincoln] is an extremely talented team.”

After taking the first game 25-13, Lowell dropped two straight to Lincoln. Sophomore Lydia Lee provided five kills and three aces to lead the Mustangs to a 25-18 win in game two. In the third game, Melany Luu provided the Lincoln ammunition, killing five times.

In Game 4, the Mustangs had trouble handling Lowell’s aggressive serving and Marianne Koo’s big presence at the net. The Cardinals prevailed 25-13.

Not a team to go down quietly, Lincoln came alive again in game five. Lee had eight digs in the game, but Lowell took control of the net with four Cardinal players contributing kills and five adding blocks.

Koo had 10 kills and 15 blocks in the match. Libero Jessica Peng led the Cardinals with 24 digs. Nicole Lee and Stephanie Drumwright had nine and eight kills respectively.

For Lincoln, Lee finished the night with 14 kills, 17 digs and three blocks. Libero Christine Ng had 20 digs.

Lowell handed Lincoln its only regular-season loss 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 last week in the final league match for both teams.

A sign of the improving talent of AAA volleyball, Balboa joined Lincoln and Lowell in a three-way tie for first place. All three teams boasted a 10-1 record.

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