Girls Water Polo (33-1)
Laguna Captures State Regional CIF Title
Laguna became the first team to win both the section and state regional titles this past weekend but it wasn’t easy.
Emma Lineback sparked a fourth quarter comeback on Feb. 29 in the semifinal contest with Newport Harbor High that rallied the team to defeat the Tars 10-9 in overtime after the Breakers struggled through three quarters of uninspired play. Newport played tough, leading 4-2 at the intermission and 6-5 after three quarters of play. The Breakers had entered the third annual State Regional tournament without Rachael Carver, their top assist leader and a key part of the starting lineup.
Jessie Rose captured the fourth quarter sprint and Nicole Struss quickly drew an ejection setting up a power play. A Struss to Lineback pass tied the contest at 6-6 with less than a minute into the period. Newport countered with a power play of their own but Lineback quickly responded with a goal from a Molly Renner pass to tie the game at 7 with just two minutes expired. Jessie Rose gave the Breakers their first lead at the 4:47 mark off a Lineback pass and Nicole Struss scored off a Rose pass to extend the lead to 9-7 with 4:07 left on the clock.
It didn’t take long for Newport to storm back and they tied the contest after a 5-meter penalty shot was awarded at the 2:50 mark and again at 1:45 when Struss fouled out. Girls water polo rules have two three-and-a-half minute overtime periods followed by sudden death. Breakers had four possessions in the first overtime and could not find the net. The stalemate ended when on the second possession of the second overtime period Renner drew a 5-meter penalty opportunity. Hot shooting Lineback stepped in and drilled the goal for the deciding point with 1:42 remaining. The Breakers were able to well defend Newport’s last three possessions to secure victory — the sixth this season with Newport and the 17th straight win in the series. Overall, Lineback had three goals and four assists; Rose with three goals and an assist; Struss with a goal, two assists, and three drawn exclusions. Emma Singer also provided a pair of scores and Imani Clemens with one score and two drawn exclusions including a 5-meter penalty.
In the finals, Laguna faced The Bishop’s School of La Jolla, the San Diego CIF top division champion. The Knights (25-4) had won five of the past six titles in San Diego and their resume included a victory over Newport this season. After a tight first quarter, Morgan Van Alphen and Lineback led a five goal outburst on the Breakers first five possessions of the second quarter to take an 8-3 lead on the way to an easy 17-8 victory with the entire team participating.
Earlier on Friday, Laguna battered San Diego’s number 3 entry La Jolla (19-3) in the opening game of the tournament with Struss and Clemens each scoring three goals. The contest like the semi-finals and finals were played at Segerstrom High School.
The Breakers concluded 2020 with a 33-1 record, most season wins in Laguna’s 23-year history of the sport. Laguna accomplished their success despite losing last season’s top scorer and assist leader, Tea Poljak, who skipped her senior season to enter USC early. She has scored eight goals so far this season for the Trojans (11-1).
Next season, Laguna is slated to be the top contender again with Newport Harbor as the most likely opponent to prevent a three-peat for the Division 1 CIF title and in-season tournaments.
Alumni note: Holly Parker ’16 was named the conference player of the week for number one ranked USC last week. The red-shirt junior recorded 710 saves in her four-year career with the Breakers and was the 2016 Orange Coast League MVP. Parker plays with two other Laguna alumni on her squad, Tea Poljak and Sophie Lucas ’18.
Laguna baseball wins Newport Elks tournament
Breakers used a big six-run fifth inning to achieve a 14-6 victory over Valencia High School at the Tigers’ field Feb. 28 to capture the Costa Mesa Division in the 37th Newport Elks Tournament.
The title was the Breakers fourth all time in the event. Newport Elks features most of the county’s teams in four divisions. Breakers compete in Division 3 of the four competition levels.
Charlie Pillsbury had two hits, a single and triple, drove in three runs and scored three runs against the Tigers (4-2). Nick Bonn picked up the win with three hitless innings facing ten batters. Laguna still trails the all-time series 49-17.
Laguna must finish first or second in the Sunset Wave League to make the playoffs. Marina and Corona del Mar high schools are in a different division. Like the Breakers, Newport is one of 42 Division 2 schools. Laguna’s remaining schedule of 15 games includes one Division 1 opponent, eight Division 2 games, five Division 3, and one Division 4 contest.
The Breakers host a Division 1 team, Huntington Beach, on March 11 and Fountain Valley on March 13 at Skipper Carrillo Field.
Boys and girls lacrosse will not be competing at the varsity level this season and are ineligible for the first CIF Southern Section playoffs this year. Sunset League has six teams competing for the boys league title (CdM, Edison, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Marina, and Newport); Four teams for Girls (CdM, Edison, Los Alamitos and Newport).
Girls Sand Volleyball (2-0)
The seventh season of sand volleyball is underway and former assistant coach Chase Frishman assumes the top job, replacing Steve McFadden (40-7) who is now the Sand Volleyball assistant at Florida International University in Miami.
Laguna will be competing in the 10-team Orange County League and will be playing six Orange County teams and one non-league contest with Mira Costa.
Breakers had competed in the Southern California section of the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (IBVL) the past six years but will be doing only the Orange County league. The IBVL will strictly be 20 Los Angeles County schools while San Diego’s league has 30 schools competing. Formats vary between the three groups with the Los Angeles leagues playing three pairs only, San Diego five pairs, and Orange County five pairs plus a single set four-man that counts double. Scoring is to 21, third set to 15 and the 4-man is a single set to 28.
The Breakers face San Clemente High School next on March 10.
Breakers have a doubleheader at Santa Rosa Academy in Riverside County on March 7. League play begins on March 17 at Corona del Mar High.
Boys Tennis (3-0)
Feb 27: Laguna 9, Mater Dei 9 – Breakers win on games 79-55
Laguna took doubles winning seven of nine sets out scoring the Monarchs 50-17 in games to secure the win despite splitting the sets. # 2 Doubles team Matt Berk and Diego Tellez swept their three matches 6-0, 6-1, 6-1.
Mar 3: Laguna 10, @ Dana Hills 8
Doubles continued to power the Laguna team as they took eight of nine sets in the win. Top-ranked team Andrew Johnson and Mo Berri won 7-5, 7-5, 6-0; second-ranked team Kyle Herkins and Matt Duong prevailed in two sets 7-6, 7-5, and the third-ranked team Matt Berk and Diego Tellez won 6-1, 6-0, 6-0. Taro Sakai won the only singles set 6-1.
Breakers face St Margaret’s on March 9 before opening Sunset Wave League play at Marina on March 12.
Boys Volleyball (8-3)
Breakers Upset Corona Del Mar, tie Newport Harbor for fifth at county tournament
Laguna swept their pool at the 47th annual Orange County Tournament held last weekend at Edison. Breakers defeated host Edison 25-20, 26-28, 15-9 and El Toro 28-26, 25-19 on Friday then completed their pool Saturday with a thrilling 27-25, 25-27, 15-12 win over number one-ranked Corona del Mar.
In that match, Geste Bianchi led the Breakers with 18 kills while Andrew Reavis added 12. Josh Meiswinkle dished out 35 assists in the contest, second most ever in a three-set tournament match.
Immediately after the conclusion of the emotional Sea King match Laguna had to play their playoff match and lost to Canyon High School 22-25, 25-23, 12-15. The Breakers led 10-6 in the third set against Canyon but could not close out the set. Corona del Mar won the tournament defeating Canyon in the finals. Huntington Beach and Tesoro tied for third. Laguna and Newport Harbor for fifth.
Laguna will face San Clemente at home on March 10.
For the latest schedules and scores, all levels, go to the team pages at lbhs.lbusd.org/athletics/teams