Downey volleyball beats Warren on emotional night

DOWNEY - On a night that breast cancer awareness was celebrated with pink jerseys and survivors introduced in between sets, Downey girls volleyball managed to get past their emotions, then get past Warren, 22-25, 25-19, 25-16, 27-25, at home Tuesday night. The Bears pushed the Vikings harder than any team has in 13 matches, finally getting Downey to drop their first set in that time. But Downey refocused and reminded the Bears why they are a top ranked team in California. "It's been a while since we've been pushed like that," said Downey head coach Andrea Sims. "But I wouldn't expect anything less from Warren, especially on an emotional night like tonight. That's how it always happens with Downey Warren." After dropping a sloppy first set 22-25, you could see an attitude change in Downey in the second set as if everything clicked after the break. Junior Joy Miley helped spark Downey's 6-0 run to start the second set. The Vikings at one point led 13-4. Warren rallied back to 14-17, but the Vikings pulled away to grab the game. Sims said that while Miley helped, it was more of the team rallying around their three key players, Miley, Heather Schnars, and Makayla Taylor. "I think it has to do with Joy, Heather, and Makayla," She said. "When they click the rest of the team forms around them and just clicks so perfectly." Miley continued her push through the third set, using her power to help the Vikings snag a 25-16 win. But it was the fourth set that showed how resilient and good the Vikings really are. Warren and Downey were tied at 15-15 before the Bears went on a 7-point run, pushing the Vikings closer to a fifth set, 22-15. Downey responded with 4 points of their own until serving the ball out of bounds, coming within 2 points, 20-22. The Bears pushed the Vikings to set point, 24-21, but then slipped under the pressure, allowing Downey to score 3 straight points, the game-tying point on a Miley kill. Downey then reversed their fortunes and had match point before Miley put her finishing touches on the game, splitting defenders in the center of the court with her final kill, giving the Vikings their 14th straight victory. "I just told my girls that the fourth game is always the hardest game to win," Sims said. "It's always the fourth game, especially when you're up. But hats off toWarren. They pushed us to the limit, literally, the limit." The Vikings improve to 19-5 overall, and 6-0 in league. Warren drops to 11-8 overall, and 4-3 in league. With the win, Downey will move into the top 50 teams in Southern California, and likely improve on their No. 2 CIF ranking.