Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Pope John Paul II's Milayne Danna, left, and Allison Hartmann, jump up to block the ball against University High in a Division IV semifinal.

Fourth-seeded University High has played at times below its talent level this season, beating teams but not dominating when it should.

It’s bothered coach Bonita Johnson during many of her team’s 32 wins.

Then on Friday afternoon, against top-seeded Pope John Paul II, the Cubs failed to make the jump up in competition, falling 25-13, 25-16, 25-20 in the Division IV semifinals.

“You can’t expect things to be given to you,” Johnson said. “You have to go out and get it in life.”

Pope John Paul II’s Allison Hartman finished with a match-high 18 kills, along with two blocks. Christina Cutura added 14 kills, two blocks and two aces to help off-set the effort of University’s Lindsay Flory (10 kills, nine assists, eight digs).

Up next for Pope John Paul II (40-5), comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores, is Saturday’s morning’s 11:30 a.m. final against sixth-seeded Newman. The match is the Jaguars’ first state title appearance in volleyball.

Aiding in the victory, Martena Cutura had 10 digs and three aces. Milayne Danna finished with 45 assists.

Meanwhile, University’s season ends at 32-12, unable to utilize its noted defense at the net. .

“Our middles were having a problem because they would block one way and they would hit the other,” said Flory, whose future college volleyball recruiting trips will include San Diego State. “You just have to chose a side. They just have greater hitters, can see the block and hit around it.”

Destiny Ephrom had five kills and one block for the Cubs, and Terri Drake added 15 digs. Jill Jones had 10 digs.

NEWMAN 3, SACRED HEART 1 : Defending a state championship is never easy — so much mental anguish.

But the Newman Greenies made it easier this season by keeping their 2013 trophy in the school display case and focusing, match to match. Week to week.

Now, Newman has just one more match to focus on. The sixth-seeded Greenies advanced by defeating 10th-seeded Sacred Heart 25-16, 14-25, 25-21, 25-18.

Katherine Bolyard led Newman with a team-high 16 kills. Cameryn Jones had three blocks, and Julia Wellons (24) and Julia Nelson (21) combined on digs to slow down Sacred Heart (21-21), which upset seventh-seeded Notre Dame, second-seeded Louise McGehee to reach the semifinals.

Ellie Silvia led Academy of the Sacred Heart with 10 kills, four aces and 12 digs. Avery Hardie added seven kills with four blocks. Claire had 24 assists.