The Rancho Cucamonga volleyball team will be missing its star player when it takes to the court on Thursday against Chino Hills in the Baseline League finale for both teams. The Cougars (19-7, 9-0) are already assured a share of the league title but the Huskies (19-5, 8-1) can forge a tie with a win.
Senior outside hitter Bria Beale was ejected from Tuesday’s match at St. Lucy’s and per CIF rules must sit out the next match. She isn’t even allowed to be in the venue.
Rancho Cucamonga coach Aaron Flores said his team was up 24-13 in the third set after winning the first two sets handily when the incident occurred. He said he didn’t see exactly what happened because he was talking to someone else on the bench and Beale herself doesn’t remember.
All Flores was able to get as an explanation was that Beale directed profanity in the direction of an official. There was no previous incident. She was given a yellow card, then seconds later a red card – thus the ejection.
Flores was looking to his avenues of appeal this morning but there really are none. All will use the incident as a teachable moment.
“She is crushed,” Flores said.
Flores said he doesn’t ever recall seeing a player ejected from a volleyball match. Neither has Chino Hills coach Andy Farrow. But Flores doesn’t think the penalty fits the crime.
“In football that’s a 15-yard penalty and you move on. I don’t get why this is different,” he said.
The first time the teams played on Oct. 4 Chino Hills took Rancho to five sets with the Cougars winning the fifth 15-11. Beale, who has committed to UC Irvine, had 18 kills.
She leads the team in kills (315) and is just 111 away from the school’s career record in that category. She is second on the team in digs (211) and aces (47).
Farrow isn’t crazy about going into the match with looks to be a huge advantage.
“It was a great match when we played them head-to-head the first time,” he said. “Now if we win everyone will say it is because they didn’t have her. We’re all competitors we want to play against the best.”
Sophomore Allison Casillas will start in Beale’s spot but the Cougars have the benefit of a seasoned, battled-tested lineup around her.