Laguna makes its 27th trip to the semifinals this week following a 25-18, 25-8, 26-24 home victory last Saturday, Nov. 14, over fourth-seed Mayfield Senior School (Catholic) of Pasadena.
Breakers returned to full strength with Jamie Robbins back in the lineup after missing most of the season. Against the Cubs, Laguna held a slim 15-12 lead in the first set until Robbins fired three aces to put the set out of reach. In set two, Aspen Rocha opened serving with eight straight points. The Breakers looked a little complacent in set three racking up nine hitting errors out of the team’s 13 for the entire match. Mayfield looked confident as the Cubs held a 24-20 lead before they lost set point when Robbins hammered a great cross-court shot off a Rocha set. Sage Patchell went back to serve and hit a short lob for an ace.
Breakers then added another point off a Robbins kill and tied the match at 24, energizing the Laguna crowd. Mayfield hit their next return high to avoid the block and it was 25-24 Laguna. Lexi McKeown sealed the match win with an easy tap-down at the net to ignite playoff pandemonium as the crowd rushed the court. Laguna last went to the semifinals in 2011.
For the match, Robbins led all players with 15 kills hitting .636 while middle blocker Cammie Dorn added eight. Katelyn Carballo and Aspen Rocha each added four aces, while Rocha added 27 assists and Carballo 11 digs. Lexi McKeown led all blockers with six while Sage Patchell was the most effective server.
Last Thursday at Dugger Gym, Breakers broke a two year second round curse with a thrilling 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12 victory over fifth-seed Arroyo Grande. The fifth set was exciting as Laguna was down 6-0 before mounting an incredible 15-6 run for the match win. Their first point came after the Eagles failed to return a strong cross-court kill by Jamie Robbins that sent Sage Patchell back to serve. The senior hit an ace followed by a long rally that ended with a block by Cammie Dorn. Katelyn Carballo pulled Laguna to 4-6 off a set by McKeown and the Eagles called time out. Patchell cane back after the time-out and hit another ace and Laguna was back in the match. Tied at 12, Katelyn Carballo’s tough serve was returned wide and her next serve was returned with a sure kill, but Robbins’ rolling dig kept the ball in play eventually leading to an Eagle error. Aspen Rocha and Cammie Dorn each took a piece of the Eagles last attack for a thunder block that sent the team into the celebration dog-pile.
For the match, Robbins led all players with 17 kills, three aces and 12 digs. Katelyn Carballo added 15 kills, two aces and 25 digs with Aspen Rocha adding four aces, 36 assists, and 14 digs while Taylor Cunningham came off-the-bench with 15 assists. Katie Hayden added 13 digs, Lexi McKeown 10 kills, Kendle Brennan one ace and 10 digs, and Cammie Dorn with six kills, three aces and three blocks to round out the Laguna contributors.
Player individual statistics can be found on the team web site on Max Preps.
You can follow the collegiate former Breakers in the NCAA tournament this fall. Alyse Ford is on third-ranked USC, Allison Palmer is on No. 22 Illinois, and Avery Bush is on No. 26 Loyola Marymount. In D-2, Marissa Greenough and Sami Harting were instrumental in Erskine capturing their second consecutive Conference Carolinas title with a four-set victory over rival Limestone College. Greenough, an all-conference selection, had 10 kills and six blocks while Harting added six kills and six blocks. The Erskine Fleet are ranked eighth in the NCAA Southeast Region.