Palisades upsets Chatsworth to win City Section Open Division volleyball title

Ever since losing a nonleague match to Chatsworth early in the season, the Palisades High boys’ volleyball team was itching for a chance at redemption.

The opportunity came Saturday evening in the finals of the City Section Open Division. The Dolphins made the most of their second chance, dethroning the top-seeded Chancellors 25-19, 12-25, 25-15, 25-15 at Birmingham in Lake Balboa.

“The key was spreading the ball around so they didn’t know where to block,” Palisades setter Blake Pecsok said. “I had a lot of confidence in my teammates. Everyone was playing well, and that made my job so much easier.”

Senior outside hitter Gus Wibbelsman paced the second-seeded Dolphins with 23 kills — pounding his last on match point — and senior middle blocker Matisse Lee-Maarek added 17 kills and five blocks.

It was the 17th City crown for Palisades (34-5-1) and its first since 2019.

Junior opposite hitter Blake Pohevitz and senior outside hitter CJ Blankenship had 16 kills apiece and senior middle blocker Jamaal Unuakhalu added 10 kills and four blocks for Chatsworth, which beat the Dolphins in four sets on their home floor March 10.

Chatsworth (37-10) was seeking its 10th City title.

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