AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “They just wanted it more than we did,” Conquerors coach Ralph Eshom said. “They’re the defending league champions and my girls haven’t been to that plateau yet.” The Conquerors took command of the first game early when Stephanie Olivas served for nine consecutive points, including a pair of aces, and a 10-2 lead. She was helped with great defensive play by sophomore libero Kimberley Stupin. In what proved to be a precursor of things to come, the Conquerors seemed to lose their concentration letting the Bearcats back in the match. The Bearcats, behind the serving of Cara Simonsen, tied the game at 18 before the Conquerors went on a 7-1 run for the win. “I think Los Altos can play a lot better than that,” Bearcats coach Morgan Coberly said. “We didn’t pass well and their libero did a really good job. She passed well and played well defensively. We were trying to stay off her and we kind of, sort of, did.” The Bearcats faltered early but came back to earn a 19-25, 15-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-13 victory over the talented, but inexperienced Conquerors. The win improved the Bearcats’ league record to 2-0 and gave them a head start toward defending their league title. Los Altos took a 13-3 lead and cruised to an easy 25-15 win in the second game. The Conquerors appeared to be in total control but showed their inexperience when they couldn’t finish off the Bearcats when they had the chance. “We went to Kellyanne (Kirby) in the third game,” Coberly said. “She kind of got us through that then we pulled it together.” The Bearcats, behind Kirby, the 2004 Miramonte League MVP, won the third game 25-22. “We also switched out middles,” Coberly said. “No. 1 (Leah Haproff) on their team was killing us. (Krista Hurley) is our leading blocker and she slowed her down a little bit.” The Conquerors had their chances in the fourth game, taking a 15-11 lead but Kirby and middle blocker Kellie Ruebsamen took over and pulled out a 25-23 win to send the match to a fifth game. The teams were tied at 12 when Hurley got a kill then served for a point. The Bearcats held on for the 15-13 win. “The key was Kellyanne Kirby,” Eshom said. “She just has way more experience than anyone on our team. They go to her every time and she came through in the clutch.” Kirby led the Bearcats with 25 kills and 25 digs. Ruebsamen had 11 kills and 22 digs. Haproff had 14 kills for the Conquerors and Debbie Beliakoff added 10. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HACIENDA HEIGHTS — When first place is on the line in almost any sport, experience usually proves to be the difference. It was no different Tuesday night when defending Miramonte League girls volleyball champion Bonita High School traveled to Los Altos.