The Monarchs actually should have won the match in straight sets. They led Game 3, 14-12, before Torrey Pines rose from the mat to score four straight and stay alive.
In the final analysis, the Monarchs were the better team in almost every phase of the game, playing superior defense and spreading the offense around effectively to their numerous hitters. Torrey Pines, by contrast, could never get their powerful middle attack established, as Mitty crowded the middle with two and three blockers, and Falcon sets to the outside did not produce consistent results.
"I think the key was Lindsey [Sherburne]," said Torrey Pines' coach Lars Trupe. "She was the difference in every single one of those games."
Indeed, Sherburne, the senior setter headed to the University of San Diego next year, was the dominant player on the court. And never more so than the fourth game, where in addition to setting flawlessly, she executed six successful dumps, including one that put Mitty up 10-4, and another that gave the Monarchs a sideout when it appeared Torrey Pines might rally.
"The hitters set it up for me," Sherburne explained. "They were getting the kills. That forced Torrey Pines to back up, ready to play defense, which opened up big holes for me."
For Sherburne's performance – 11 kills, 50 assists and nine digs – the 5-foot-10 senior was awarded the match's most valuable player award. Teammates Tessa Sphar, who had 17 kills; and Murphy McClenahan, who added 15, joined Sherburne on the all-tournament team.
Ashley Smith paced Torrey Pines with 16 kills, while another Falcon senior, middle blocker Michelle Kaufman, had 12. But junior middle blocker Rachell Johnson, such a big part of Torrey Pines' rise to national prominence, was held to just seven kills.
"Today was just not our day," said Trupe. "We had monster efforts in phases, but we had lapses, too. At this level, those lapses cost you."