By Frank Aronoff | LB Indy
Girls Volleyball (6-9)
Breakers Continue to Improve, Rally Past San Juan Hills
After a rough 1-6 start losing close matches, the Laguna Beach girls volleyball squad bounced back to finish 22nd out of 64 teams at the 20th Durango Las Vegas Fall Classic and followed up by defeating San Juan Hills in five sets this past Tuesday, Sept. 23.
Coach Raul Papaleo has worked very hard to come up with a rotation that works and the squad has responded with a number of big wins.
In Tuesday’s match, Laguna revenged their early exit from the playoffs last season with a 21-25, 25-18, 27-25, 23-25, 15-11 victory over San Juan Hills at Dugger Gym.
In the first set, Laguna went out to a 3-1 lead but fell behind eventually trailing 24-16 before some hot serving by Sage Patchell closed the gap.
Katelyn Carballo stepped in at libero for set two, sparking Laguna to a 25-18 win. Breakers recorded four blocks and five aces and scored the final six points for the win. In set three, Laguna was down 13-9, but came back to tie the game at 15 before a string of kills by Sabrina Stillwell and seven serving aces by the team secured the set victory.
Laguna was up 22-19 in the fourth set and eventually pulled away to secure the match win over the Stallions. Sage Patchell led all players with 12 kills, nine aces, and three blocks while Sabrina Stillwell added 14 kills, four aces and two blocks followed by Jamie Robbins with 11 kills, four aces and three blocks. On defense, Patchell and Stillwell had 14 digs followed by Aspen Rocha and Katelyn Carballo each with 12. Rocha had 28 assists, Briana Boyd added 11. Overall Laguna has 24 services aces against the highly regarded visitors and 12 blocks for points.
Last weekend at Durango, Laguna defeated host Durango 25-10, 25-14, lost to top seed and two-time defending champion Torrey Pines 25-19, 25-17, beat South Dakota’s top team, O’Gorman (Sioux Falls) 25-23, 25-22 all on Friday at Durango High School. On Saturday, Sept. 20, at Green Valley, Laguna defeated highly ranked Chino Hills 17-25, 25-23, 25-19, lost to San Diego’s No. 2 team Francis Parker 28-26, 25-22, 25-18 after Jamie Robbins was hurt early in the match in a collision with Aspen Rocha. Robbins came back in the next match as Laguna took Long Beach Wilson 25-23, 25-23. In the late Saturday match, Laguna ran out of gas against five-time defending Division V state champions Branson from Marin County as the Bulls won 26-28, 25-12, 25-12.
Final Durango standings: 1 – Assumption (Louisville KY), 2 – Mitty, 3 – Redondo, Torrey Pines, 5 – Kamehameha, 6 – Mira Costa, 7 – Sacred Heart (Louisville KY), 9 – Santa Margarita, 10 – Redlands East Valley.Others: 12 – Marymount, 17 – Franceis Parker, 18 – Edison, 19 – Villa Park, 22 – LAGUNA, 23 – Wilson, 25 – Mater Dei, 31 – Long Beach Poly, 35 – O’Gorman, 39 – Harvard Westlake, El Dorado, 41 – Los Alamitos, 43 – Beckman. More information at www.Durangofallclassic.com
Next week, Laguna travels to Dana Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 30, for a match and then opens league play on Thursday, Oct. 2, at Costa Mesa.