Capistrano Valley Christian boys volleyball conquers adversity, sweeps La Quinta in SoCal Regional final

WESTMINSTER – The Capistrano Valley Christian boys volleyball team continues to ascend to new heights.

A week after winning its first CIF Southern Section title, the Eagles reached a new level of success by winning the CIF SoCal Regional championship in Division IV with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 win over La Quinta on Saturday night at La Quinta High.

Capistrano Valley Christian coach Ryan Van Rensselaer was filled with gratitude and joy after his team conquered adversity, including various injuries, illnesses and accidents.

“Just pure joy,” Van Rensselaer said when asked about the emotions he was feeling. “Everyone has had to face the all the adversity of COVID and within that we’ve had incredible adversity from our top guy, Gabe Dyer, having appendicitis not even two weeks ago, kidney issues before that, shin splints. He’s been through the ringer, we had strep throat go through the team, COVID went through the team, car accident with Kai (Taylor) with a borderline concussion, just everything you could imagine.

“We’ve been preaching all year long, everyone’s gotta be ready, because you’re only as good as your weakest link,” Van Rensselaer said.

Peter Kelso gets the kill to end the match as Capistrano Valley Christian sweeps La Quinta, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22. Great performance by the Eagles and valiant effort by the host Aztecs. @ocvarsity @ocboysvball @cvcseagles @TheRealLQHS pic.twitter.com/Y2eQcnsOqY

— David Delgado🇪🇨 (@DavidDelgado_OC) June 13, 2021

The Eagles’ attack was led by outside hitters Kai Taylor and Andrew Sheveland. Taylor had 12 kills and Sheveland finished with 10 kills, while Peter Kelso (8 kills, 5 blocks), Dyer and Conrad Ledrew provided contributions at the net.

Capistrano Valley Christian (19-2) controlled the first two sets by using the height advantage it had over the smaller Aztecs.

La Quinta fought hard to take a 7-2 lead in a competitive third set behind the efforts of outside hitter Brendan Nguyen (seven kills), opposite William Nguyen (five kills) and middle blocker Dominic Nguyen.


Players and coaches for the La Quinta boys volleyball team pose for a photo after finishing as the runner-up in Division IV of the CIF SoCal Regional playoffs Saturday. (Photo by David Delgado, Contributor)

The Eagles were holding on to a 22-21 advantage when Kelso scored the final three points with a block in between two kills to sweep the match.

Aztecs coach David Tran said he is used to the size disadvantage his team faces on a regular basis, and he was proud of the way the team played.

“It didn’t stop us from getting through the CIF playoffs to a final,” Tran said. “Everyone we played was so much taller than us, but we were able to have better ball control, sneak some kills here and there, dig a ton of balls and be very scrappy and surprise a lot of teams.”

The Aztecs (13-2) came into the match with only one loss, in the CIF final to ML King last week. They ended the season as runner-up in both CIF-SS Division 5 and SoCal Regional Division IV.

“We played well enough to represent who we are,” Tran said.

Van Rensselaer and Tran met in a CIF-SS Division 5 final in 2013 when Van Rensselaer was at Saddleback Valley Christian and the Warriors beat the Aztecs in five sets.

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Mira Costa boys volleyball shows resiliency and defeats Newport Harbor in Division 1 final

MANHATTAN BEACH — The second set of Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys volleyball final had enough ups and downs and momentum swings, that it would have been safe to assume that the eventual winner of the match would be the one winning that set.

Newport Harbor led throughout the early stages of the set, Mira Costa rallied to tie and take the lead, the Mustangs were one point away from serving for the set, but the Sailors closed things out to even the match at one set apiece.

“I don’t think we played poorly, I think they played pretty well,” Mira Costa senior outside hitter Ben Coordt said of the second set. “It was all about just responding. Every team is going to go on a run, every team going to make plays, but it is how you respond in volleyball, that’s what wins the game and I think we responded.”

The Mustangs did just that, winning the third set with comfortable ease and then closed the match in the fourth set for their seventh CIF-SS championship.

The match scores were 25-14, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21.

“This means the world to me,” Coordt said of winning. “Getting the opportunity to do this again, one last time and really compete for the finals, was just …a dream come true. It feels amazing.”

This was the second time in three seasons that Coordt and the Mustangs had advanced to the finals and faced the Sailors.

In 2019, Newport Harbor won in four sets.

  • Mira Costa poses for photographs after defeating Newport Harbor in the CIF-SS Div. 1 final in Manhattan Beach on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mira Costa’s Kalani Rusher spike the ball during the CIF-SS Div. 1 final against Newport Harbor in Manhattan Beach on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Newport Harbor’s Brendan Read scores against Mira Costa during the CIF-SS Div. 1 final in Manhattan Beach on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Newport Harbor’s James Eadie scores against Mira Costa during the CIF-SS Div. 1 final in Manhattan Beach on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mira Costa’s Jim Garrison serves the ball during the CIF-SS Div. 1 final against Newport Harbor in Manhattan Beach on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Newport Harbor’s Brendan Read bumps the ball during the CIF-SS Div. 1 final against Mira Costa in Manhattan Beach on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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Last season, the Mustangs started the season 10-0, won the Best in the West Invitational and appeared to be the favorites for the CIF-SS Division 1 title, but the season was shut down in March.

Then this season, they went months without knowing if they would get a season.

“We knew we had a shot, we knew we had a team that could do it,” Coordt said. “Pushing through and making it happen is everything and being able to go down in history and be part of that CIF-SS championship team is something I’ve always wanted my whole life.”

Newport Harbor and the Mira Costa met twice during the regular season, with each team winning a match in three sets.

The Mustangs stormed from the gates early, feeding off of the momentum large student section and fans.

Jake and Brendan Read led the Sailors back in the second set, but from there, the match belonged to the Mustangs.

“It means so much to me that the South Bay gets to celebrate a volleyball championship,” Mira Costa coach Avery Drost said. “I love this volleyball community and they’ve given me so much that I felt like giving my whole heart to this to see if we could do it.

“The boys did it. They had to do it and they did it. It’s so incredible to see 17, 18-year-old kids rise to those moments. It’s insane to do it and in this environment it’s so cool.”

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CIF-SS boys volleyball playoffs: Wednesday’s scores, updated schedule for the semifinals Saturday, May 29

Scores from Wednesday’s CIF-SS boys volleyball playoffs and the updated schedule for the games on Saturday, May 29.

CIF-SS BOYS VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFFS

DIVISION 1

Quarterfinals

Loyola def. Redondo, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-22

Newport Harbor def. San Clemente, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 30-28

Corona del Mar def. Mater Dei, 26-24, 26-24, 25-20

Mira Costa def. Orange Lutheran, 25-20, 25-17, 25-20

Semifinals, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Loyola at Newport Harbor

Corona del Mar at Mira Costa

DIVISION 2

Quarterfinals 

Santa Barbara def. West Ranch, 25-14, 25-22, 25-19

Servite def. Tesoro, 25-12, 25-17, 25-20

Huntington Beach def. Burroughs/Burbank, 25-16, 26-24, 25-16

Thursday’s match

Newbury Park vs. Beckman

Semifinals, Saturday, 6 p.m.

TBD at Santa Barbara

Huntington Beach at Servite

DIVISION 3

Quarterfinals

St. Francis def. Camarillo, 25-13, 26-24, 25-20

Long Beach Poly def. Canyon, 25-15, 22-25, 14-25, 25-18, 16-14

Long Beach Wilson def. Westlake, 26-24, 21-25, 21-25, 26-24, 15-12

Foothill def. Notre Dame/SO, 26-24, 25-23, 25-22

Semifinals, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Long Beach Poly at St. Francis

Foothill at Long Beach Wilson

DIVISION 4

Quarterfinals

Marina def. Pacifica Christian/NB, 25-15, 25-18, 25-21

Warren def. Torrance, 25-22, 25-27, 24-26, 25-22, 15-10

Laguna Hills def. Villa Park, 25-15, 25-15, 22-25, 25-20

Cerritos Valley Christian def. Santiago/Corona, 25-19, 25-18, 25-16

Semifinals, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Warren at Marina

Laguna Hills at Cerritos Valley Christian

DIVISION 5

Quarterfinals

La Canada def. Oakwood, 25-16, 27-25, 21-25, 25-22

La Quinta def. Elsinore, 28-26, 27-25, 13-25, 25-17

Semifinals, Saturday, 6 p.m.

La Canada at La Quinta

DIVISION 6

Quarterfinals

Capistrano Valley Christian def. Rio Hondo Prep, 26-24, 25-11, 27-25

Orange def. Sierra Vista, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16

Malibu def. Avalon, 25-9, 25-10, 25-15

Semifinals, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Capistrano Valley Christian at TBD

Malibu at Orange

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2019-20 athletes & coaches of the year, All-County teams, Outstanding Seniors

A look back at the OCVarsity award winners for the 2019-20 high school sports season.

Athletes and coaches of the year and All-County teams were selected for the fall and winter sports. For the spring sports, which had their season cut short by COVID-19, the Register chose an Outstanding Senior for each sport.

OCVarsity 2020 Athletes & Coaches of the Year page

FALL SPORTS

FOOTBALL

Offensive Player of the Year: Bryce Young, Mater Dei

Defensive Player of the Year: Clark Phillips III, La Habra

Coach of the Year: Nick Karavedas, Sunny Hills

All-County team: First Team Offense

All-County team: First Team Defense

All-County teams: Second Team and Third Team

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Player of the Year: Mia Tuaniga, Mater Dei

Coach of the Year: Isaac Owens, Esperanza

All-County team

BOYS CROSS COUNTY

Runner of the Year: Anthony Grover, JSerra

Coach of the Year: Craig Dunn, Dana Hills

All-County team

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Runner of the Year: Carly Corsinita, Capistrano Valley

Coach of the Year: Ken Chai, El Toro

All-County team

GIRLS GOLF

Golfer of the Year: Sherilyn Villaneuva, Troy

Coach of the Year: Bruce Loman, Sage Hill

All-County team

GIRLS TENNIS

Player of the Year: Kaytlin Taylor, Huntington Beach

Coach of the Year: Natasha Schottland, Portola

All-County team

BOYS WATER POLO

Player of the Year: Tanner Pulice, Corona del Mar

Coach of the Year: Logan Powell, San Clemente

All-County team

 

WINTER SPORTS

BOYS BASKETBALL

Player of the Year: Devin Askew, Mater Dei

Coach of the Year: D’Cean Bryant, Fountain Valley

All-County team

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Player of the Year: Asia Avinger, Rosary

Coach of the Year: Jimmy Valverde, Esperanza

All-County team

BOYS SOCCER

Player of the Year: Uriel Sanchez, Servite

Coach of the Year: Jon Spencer, Servite

All-County team

GIRLS SOCCER

Player of the Year: Samantha Williams, JSerra

Coach of the Year: Pat Rossi, Los Alamitos

All-County team

GIRLS WATER POLO

Player of the Year: Emma Lineback, Laguna Beach

Coach of the Year: Rory Bevins, Rosary

All-County team

BOYS WRESTLING

Wrestler of the Year: Aaron Nagao, Esperanza

Coach of the Year: Dane Valdez, Calvary Chapel

All-County team

GIRLS WRESTLING

Wrestler of the Year: Aine Drury, Westminster

All-County team

 

SPRING SPORTS

Outstanding Seniors

Baseball: Jonny Long, Orange

Softball: Madi Simon, Beckman

Boys Swimming: Ryan Abdollahi, Dana Hills

Girls Swimming: Ella Ristic,  Santa Margarita

Boys Track & Field: Isaac Korn, Trabuco Hills

Girls Track & Field: Sophia Hartwell, Orange Lutheran

Boys Volleyball: Niko Colburn, Huntington Beach

Boys Tennis: Jake Huarte, Mater Dei

Boys Golf: Taehoon Song, Anaheim Discovery Christian

Boys Lacrosse: Andrew Cumming, Foothill

Girls Lacrosse: Ashley Stokes, Foothill

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OCVarsity 2020 Athletes of the Year special section

The Register wraps up a year of excellence in high school sports by selecting the Orange County Athletes of the Year.

The honorees are featured in a special section that includes lists of all of the athletes and coaches who received OCVarsity honors in 2019-20. The section is included in Sunday’s edition of the Register.

There is also an interactive online version of the section that can be found here.

A link to our page for the 2020 OCVaristy Athlete & Coach Awards.

This year, because of COVID-19, the Register couldn’t host its annual banquet for all of the year’s award winners, but the OCVarsity staff congratulates the honorees, including Rosary’s Asia Avinger, who received the Trinity League Athlete of the Year award from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

 

To read the individual stories, click on the athlete names below.

Male Athlete of the Year

Bryce Young, Mater Dei


Mater Dei High quarterback Bryce Young announced his commitment to attend Alabama on social media on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

 

Female Athlete of the Year

Asia Avinger, Rosary


Rosary’s Asia Avinger is one of the Orange County Register’s 2020 Athletes of the Year. The San Clemente High School athlete committed to play basketball at San Diego State. Photographed in Anaheim, CA on Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

 

Male Outstanding Competitor

Lance Keneley, Mission Viejo


Mission Viejo High School’s Lance Keneley is one of the Orange County Register’s 2020 Athletes of the Year. Keneley has committed to play football at Stanford. Photographed in Anaheim, CA on Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Female Outstanding Competitor

Ella Gardiner, San Clemente


San Clemente athlete Ella Gardiner is one of the Orange County Register’s 2020 Athletes of the Year. Gardiner excelled in basketball and volleyball.  Photographed in Anaheim, CA on Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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SoCal Varsity honors the top fall sports athletes in Southern California

The Southern California News Group honors the top high school athletes for the fall sports with its SoCal Varsity Sports Awards.

SCNG’s team of high school sports reporters have selected the Athletes of the Year and All-SoCal teams in football, girls volleyball, boys water polo, girls tennis, boys and girls cross country and girls golf.

Read all of the stories online (links below) and in a special section that is included in all of SCNG’s newspapers on Sunday, Dec. 22.

SOCAL VARSITY FALL SPORTS AWARDS

Football | Athlete of the Year: Bryce Young, Mater Dei | All-SoCal First Team |

Girls volleyball | Athlete of the Year: Kami Miner, Redondo | All-SoCal First Team |

Boys water polo | Athlete of the Year: Nolan Krutonog, Daily News | All-SoCal First Team |

Girls tennis | Athlete of the Year: Kammi Hance, Peninsula | All-SoCal First Team |

Boys cross country | Athlete of the Year: Nico Young, Newbury Park | All-SoCal First Team |

Girls cross coutnry | Athlete of the Year: Savannah Scriven, Palos Verdes | All-SoCal First Team | 

Girls golf | Athlete of the Year: Caroline Canales, Calabasas | All-SoCal First Team

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OCVarsity video: Mater Dei’s bid for a volleyball three-peat ends with loss to Redondo

Mater Dei’s girls volleyball team fell short in its bid to win the CIF-SS Division 1 title for the third consecutive year as it lost to Redondo in four games on Saturday at Cerritos College. See highlights and interviews in a video by Jonathan Khamis for the Orange County Register.


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CIF-SS girls volleyball playoffs: Saturday’s scores, updated schedule


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The scores from Saturday’s CIF-SS girls volleyball playoff games and the updated schedule.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

DIVISION 1

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Aliso Niguel at Redondo

Foothill at Sierra Canyon

Mira Costa at Mater Dei

Vista Murrieta at Marymount

DIVISION 2

Second round, Saturday

Rancho Cucamonga def. Village Christian, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20, 16-25, 15-12

Lakewood def. Beckman, 3-2 (scores not reported)

Murrieta Valley def. Los Alamitos, 25-17, 25-22, 26-24

Santa Margarita def. Tesoro, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20

Esperanza def. Chaparral, 22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-20

Westlake def. Harvard-Westlake, 25-17, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18

Bishop Montgomery def. Cypress, 25-16, 25-14, 21-25, 25-21

San Juan Hills def. San Clemente, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Rancho Cucamonga at Lakewood

Santa Margarita at Murrieta Valley

Esperanza at Westlake

Bishop Montgomery at San Juan Hills

DIVISION 3

Second round, Saturday

Ontario Christian def. La Canada, 25-19, 26-24, 25-20

Notre Dame Academy def. Dos Pueblos, 25-6, 25-21, 25-17

Long Beach Wilson def. Citrus Valley, 25-18, 25-21, 27-25

Culver City def. Marlborough, 24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 25-16, 15-12

Paloma Valley def. West Ranch, 18-25, 20-25, 25-18, 27-25, 21-19

Fountain Valley def. Rosary, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23, 25-21

San Marcos def. South Torrance, 17-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-17, 15-10

Pasadena Poly def. La Salle, 17-25, 16-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-13

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Notre Dame Academy at Ontario Christian

Culver City at Long Beach Wilson

Paloma Valley at Fountain Valley

Pasadena Poly at San Marcos

DIVISION 4

Second round, Saturday

Norco def. Oxnard, 25-16, 25-11, 23-25, 25-22

Calabasas def. Xavier Prep, 26-28, 25-21, 27-25, 25-21

South Pasadena def. Royal, 25-16, 25-16, 19-25, 25-22

La Serna def. Cerritos, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 15-10

St. Anthony def. Buena, 25-13, 26-16, 25-23

Cerritos Valley Christian def. Westridge , 25-21, 25-13, 25-19

Saddleback Valley Christian def. Viewpoint, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20

Hemet def. Calvary Chapel, 25-22, 25-21, 25-16

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Norco at Calabasas

South Pasadena at La Serna

St. Anthony at Cerritos Valley Christian

Hemet at Saddleback Valley Christian

DIVISION 5

Second round, Saturday

Tustin def. Riverside North, 25-12, 25-12, 25-15

Windward def. Rim of the World, 28-26, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21

Palm Desert def. Aquinas, 3 games to 2 (scores not reported)

Chaminade d, Brentwood, 25-21, 20-25, 25-17, 20-25, 15-11

Archer def. Troy, 3-1 (scores not reported)

Sultana def. Whittier, 25-23, 26-24, 25-16

Vistamar def. Simi Valley, 3-0 (scores not reported)

Walnut def. Schurr, 25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 17-25, 15-12

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Windward at Tustin

Palm Desert at Chaminade

Archer at Sultana

Vistamar at Walnut

DIVISION 6

Second round, Saturday

Linfield Christian def. California, 25-16, 25-16, 25-15

San Dimas def. Summit, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17, 26-24

St. Bonaventure def. Knight, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21

Buckley def. Don Lugo, 25-10, 25-22, 25-17

Nordhoff def. Barstow, 25-14, 25-20, 25-11

Mary Star def. Laguna Blanca, 26-24, 25-18, 25-17

Valley View def. Whitney, 25-17, 25-11, 25-12

Cate def. West Valley, 25-15, 25-20, 25-18

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

San Dimas at Linfield Christian

Buckley at St. Bonaventure

Nordhoff at Mary Star

Cate at Valley View

DIVISION 7

Second round, Saturday

Garden Grove def. Pacifica Christian/O.C., 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 15-13

Bolsa Grande def. San Gabriel Academy, 3-0 (scores not reported)

La Quinta/W def. Orange Vista, 25-12, 25-22, 26-24

Webb def. Azusa, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 25-14

Sacred Heart def. Bassett, 25-7, 25-10, 25-13

Loara def. Indio, 25-20, 25-21, 25-4

Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian def. Covina, 3-1 (scores not reported)

Anaheim def. Moreno Valley, 25-19, 26-24, 19-25, 16-25, 15-7

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Garden Grove at Bolsa Grande

La Quinta/W at Webb

Sacred Heart at Loara

Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian at Anaheim

DIVISION 8

Second round, Saturday unless noted

Oakwood def. Thacher, 3-0 (scores not reported)

La Puente def. Connelly, 23-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-18

Rowland def. New Roads, 25-21, 25-8, 13-25, 25-15

Palmdale Aerospace def. San Jacinto Valley Academy, 3-0 (scores not reported)

St. Bernard def. Big Bear, 3-2 (scores not reported)

Coastal Christian at Santa Clarita Christian, Monday, 6 p.m.

Bishop Diego def. Garey, 21-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17

Trinity Classical def. Geffen, 25-11, 25-12, 25-18

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Oakwood at La Puente

Palmdale Aerospace at Rowland

Santa Clarita Christian at St. Bernard OR St. Bernard at Coastal Christian

Bishop Diego at Trinity Classical

DIVISION 9

Second round, Saturday unless noted

Cornerstone Christian def. New Harvest Christian, 25-11, 25-13, 25-4

Beacon Hill def. Silver Valley, 25-16, 25-12, 27-25

Temecula Prep at Academy for Careers & Exploration, Monday, 4 p.m.

La Verne Lutheran at Redlands Adventist, Monday, 6 p.m.

Packinghouse Christian def. Pilibos, 15-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-10

Shandon at Mesa Grande, Monday, 6 p.m.

Santa Clara def. San Luis Obispo Classical, 25-17, 25-22, 25-20

Avalon def. Liberty Christian, 25-16, 25-19, 25-13

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Beacon Hill at Cornerstone Christian

Packinghouse Christian vs, TBD

 

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Esperanza volleyball battles its way past Chaparral in Division 2 playoffs


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ANAHEIM — Esperanza dropped the first set in its CIF SS Division 2 second-round playoff match against Chaparral on Saturday at Esperanza High School.

The unseeded Aztecs were then on the verge of losing the second set to the No. 3 Pumas, but rallied back to win it, and then went on to win the match 22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-20.

Esperanza (20-5) will visit Westlake in a quarterfinal match on Wednesday.

Julia Waugh led the Aztecs with 19 kills and served four of her team’s 10 aces and teammate Elysse Stowell contributed with 16 kills and three blocks.

“I feel like we’ve kind of been building up to this moment for so long and I think we really turned it on,” Stowell said. “Positivity also really helped. We had all the passion. We knew we could do it.”

Brooklyn Frederick and Bella Rittenberg delivered 18 and 16 kills, respectively, to lead the Pumas (28-9).

The Aztecs took the lead early in the first set before the Pumas battled back and went on a 5-2 run down the stretch to win it.

Chaparral had leads of 22-18 and 23-21 in the second set and seemed on the verge of taking a two-set lead. But the Aztecs, behind a pair of back-row kills from Waugh and block by Kaylie Long, closed out the set on a 5-1 run to tie the match.

“I think we felt after the first game we didn’t play very well,” Esperanza coach Isaac Owens said. “We played better in game two and found a way to win, and then that definitely changed the momentum. If we lose that game, we were going to have a tough time, because they are a good team.”

The comeback win in the second set appeared to swing the momentum in favor of the Aztecs, who led throughout most of the third set.

The Pumas took a 4-1 lead early in the fourth set and had leads of 9-4 and 12-8 before Esperanza came back, led by kills from Waugh and Taylor Jones and a pair of aces from Madeline Harkey.

Clara Stowell’s kill to the back row ended the set and the match.

“I feel like they just played really well and they made plays,” Chaparral coach Gale Johnson said of Esperanza. “Sometimes we thought balls were going to be down and the rally was going to end, and they would save the play and the ball would come back over. They played great defense and sometimes that becomes frustrating for hitters. So our hitters started making mistakes or not swinging as aggressively.”

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La Habra volleyball tops Troy in five sets to clinch share of Freeway League title

FULLERTON — In a Freeway League girls volleyball match with a share of the league title on the line, La Habra and Troy on Monday needed five sets to determine the winner.

La Habra hitters Elaina Klistoff and Kalista Zubiate got hot when they were needed most, helping the Highlanders come back from a set down and leave the Troy High gymnasium with a 25-22, 19-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13 victory.

The Highlanders (17-12, 7-2) are alone in first place and can clinch the league title outright with a victory over Sonora in the regular-season finale on Wednesday at La Habra High School.

The Raiders (15-11, 6-3) stayed in contention for second place with a sweep of Buena Park on Monday.

Troy (15-10, 6-3) and Sunny Hills (14-11, 6-3) are also in the fight for second place and will play each other Wednesday at Sunny Hills High School. The Lancers swept Fullerton on Monday.


La Habra’s Elaina Klistoff had a team-high 17 kills in the Highlanders’ victory over Troy on Monday night. The victory gave La Habra a share of the Freeway League title. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

Klistoff and Zubiate finished with 17 and 16 kills, respectively, and combined for 19 kills in the final two sets to lead the come-from-behind victory for La Habra.

“If they are hot, we just keep feeding them,” La Habra coach Adrianne Spear said. “We do like to move the ball around and we moved it around a little bit more today, but we knew who we had to go to at the end.”

Klistoff delivered kills to score two of the Highlanders’ final three points in the fourth and fifth sets and came through with the set-winning kill both times.

“I’m really tired but really ecstatic, obviously” Klistoff said. “I think it’s not about all the power, but about the heart that the team has as a whole and the chemistry we have.”

Several players made big contributions for the Warriors.

Kaleigh Beachler had 13 kills and a pair of aces, and Kaitlyn Mickle finished with 13 kills and two blocks.

Emily Burger finished with 11 kills and a block, and Isabel Aguilar had seven kills and a block for the Warriors.

Both matches between La Habra and Troy this season went five sets, with the Highlanders coming from behind to win both times.

“We went out there and we worked our butts off,” Troy coach Megan Tomicic said. “At the end of the day, there is a winner and there is a loser. One thing that we kept doing is that we were playing catch up … and that is mentally and physically exhausting.

“One thing that I told them is that I am so proud of their passion and their heart and their work, because they left everything on the court, and as a coach that is all you can ask for.”

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