Kylie Miller unleashes a shot in match last year against Los Osos.
Last year Chino Hills came into the Baseline and swiped away the league title the Cougars had won the previous year.
Well it’s a new season and Rancho Cucamonga looks like it is poised to that that crown back, with Chino Hills and St. Lucy’s looking like the most formidable foes.
Coach Aaron Flores is back at the helm after a year away in which he served a an assistant at Division I UC Irvine.
Senior Kylie Miller, who committed to UCLA as a sophomore, will lead the way. The most versatile player in the Inland Valley tallied 288 kills, 225 digs, 71 service aces and 27 total blocks. She divided time between and setting but this year will be used as an outside hitter with junior Mary Bagshaw, who transferred from Bonita last year assuming setting duties full time.
“This is going to be a great year for her,” Flores said. “Playing just hitter will also allow her to focus more on defense and passing which is a little tougher when you’re setting.”
The other reason for such optimism is the cast of players around Miller. Last year Karson Bacon burst on the scene as a freshman and notched 147 kills and a team-high 43 blocks. She has grown a bit and now stands 6-4 and Flores says she is drawing the same interest Miller did two years ago.
Other key returning players are junior outside hitters Sydney Culpepper and Bria Beale who combined for 395 kills last year. Last year Beale injured an ankle right before the playoffs which was a major blow to the team’s postseason hopes and the Cougars suffered a second round loss to Hart.
“This is the best team the school has ever had,” Flores says boldly. “We have a lot of potential and I am very excited.”
Rancho Cucamonga High School junior Kyle Miller was singled out by Volleyball Magazine as one of the top 25 underclassmen to watch for the coming season.
The Magazine also selected a Top 50 group of graduating seniors.
Miller, a 5-foot-11 setter nad outside hitter, committed to UCLA last year as a sophomore.
She is a three-time first-team All-Inland Valley selection, highlighted by a Player of the Year selection in 2013 as a sophomore.
Rancho Cucamonga volleyball standout Maegan Casillas has made a verbal commitment to UC Riverside.
The 6-foot middle blocker was also considering Cal Baptist, La Sierra and San Diego Christian. She preferred to stay in the area but was also familiar with the school.
“I went to a summer camp there and I learned a lot from the coaches,” she said. “I felt at home and really liked the atmosphere there.”
Casillas, a three-year varsity player for the Cougars, managed 43 blocks in helping her team to a second-place finish in the Baseline League.
The Highlanders went 2-26 last year in the transition to a new coaching staff. Casillas is hoping to get playing time right away.
She plans to major in biology.
Rancho Cucamonga volleyball standout Samantha Frost has committed to Division I UC Irvine, according to coach Brandon Blevins.
At UCI she will join former coach Aaron Flores who resigned after the season to take the lead assistant coaching job there.
Frost was a first-team All-Baseline selection and honorable mention All-Inland Valley.
The 5-foot-9 outside hitter missed the first half of the season with an injury but still registered 136 kills and 179 digs, helping the Cougars complete Baseline League title undefeated. Her contribution also helped the Cougars advance to the CIF quarterfinal.
She also considered Penn State.
Rancho Cucamonga High School volleyball standout Cythina Giron has committed to NCAA Division II Cal State Los Angeles, which plays in the CCAA along with Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona.
Giron proved to be one of the most valuable defensive specialists in Southern California. She was a first-team All-Inland Volleyball Team selection. She set a school record for digs in a season with 540 (6.1 per set average) and helped the Cougars to a Baseline League title.
She ranked 13th in Southern California in digs.
Giron also considered Tulsa and Connecticut and says she will likely red-shirt her first year.
Cal State Los Angeles, coached by Randi Smart, went 16-14 overall and 11-11 in CCAA play last year, finishing sixth out of 12 teams in the conference.
The accolades continue to roll in for sophomore setter Kylie Miller of Rancho Cucamonga.
The versatile 5-foot-11 athlete who has already committed to UCLA has been named an underclassmen All-American by Maxpreps. She was one of just 20 sophomores chosen nationwide.
Miller propelled the Cougars to a 24-7 showing that included a Baseline League title. She tallied 716 assists, 230 kills, 92 aces and 232 digs, earning All-CIF first team honors.
Rancho Cucamonga volleyball standout Kyle Miller has made a verbal commitment to UCLA.
Ok, she’s just a sophomore. But that’s how highly sought after she was this season.
Miller totaled 716 assists, 230 kills, 92 aces and 30 blocks. While she was a jack-of-all trades for the Baseline League champion Cougars (24-7), Miller will be a setter in college.
She chose UCLA after narrowing her decision down to that school as well as Stanford and Washington, also national powers.
“It’s close to home and my family and friends and it will be a really good degree to have after college,” she said. “I’m just relieved to have made that decision. Now I can focus on school and club. I hung up the phone and just cried because it was such a relief.”