Thursday’s 1-5 record doesn’t do justice to the heartbreak felt by local softball teams in Thursday’s quarterfinals. San Dimas lost in extra innings, Ayala (pictured above) coughed up a final-inning two-run lead and Kaiser’s eight-run second inning wasn’t enough in a 15-9 loss. Defending CIF champion Chino was the lone survivor thanks to the Division 2 No. 3 seed’s 10-0 win over Dana Hills. Fellow defending CIF champ Pomona Catholic is still alive in Division 6, but won’t play until Friday after its expected opponent today, Indio Shadow Hills, was removed from the playoffs for taking illegal batting practice.
Etiwanda’s team of nine freshman ousted the No. 3 seed on the way to the quarterfinals, but the lone local in Division 1 couldn’t get past Yorba Linda. Ayala, the fourth-place team from the Sierra League that ended the season of Division 2 No. 1 seed Mission Viejo on Tuesday, had a 3-1 lead entering the final inning of an error-marred 5-3 loss to Long Beach Millikan. Chino Hills, another defending CIF champ, was hoping for an all-Sierra League semifinal with Ayala but struck out 11 times in a 2-0 loss to Lakewood ace Janelle Hayes.
Here are all of Thursday’s quarterfinal scores:
On Thursday, it was Ayala freshman Sydney Tullai dropping jaws at the Sierra League finals track meet by winning the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. (Check out the photo gallery) It’s a combination of events so taxing – “insane,” was the term of preference for Chino Hills coach Richard Morales – that Tullai won’t be able to run all three at CIF-SS Preliminaries on May 11. She’s leaning toward the 3,200, but her decision will be jut one of many interesting story lines heading into the posteason.
On Friday at Baseline League finals (photo gallery) Upland’s Myles Valentine tied the top wind-aided 100 meter time in the state this season with a 10.36-second effort. The runner he tied was defending state champion Khalfani Muhammad, who defeated Valentine two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays, prompting this statement: “I knew at that point,” Valentine said, “I wasn’t going to finish second again.” He hasn’t.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Jensen, Los Osos, Senior
After five consecutive trips to the CIF finals, it’s safe to say Los Osos has a good girls water polo program. Though the school has only been around for eight seasons, in that short period there have obviously been some accomplished girls water polo players to come through the program. Besides leading the team to its second ever CIF championship, Kristen Jensen’s senior season is best defined by breaking the school’s single-season scoring record by a mind-blowing 58 goals. Jensen (pictured above) scored 174 goals this season and helped the Grizzlies end a three-year losing streak in the CIF finals. “We’ve never had a player this dominant come through our program,” Los Osos coach Dave Merryman said.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
The co-head coaches have led Los Osos to five consecutive appearances in the CIF finals. After losing the last three, they helped the Grizzlies capture CIF-SS Division 3 championship, the program’s first title since 2009. Los Osos finished the regular season by claiming its eighth straight Baseline League title.
FIRST ROUND, Wednesday
Santa Barbara 17, Huntington Beach 7
Irvine 7, Villa Park 3
Laguna Beach 9, Dos Pueblos 8
Newport Harbor 18, Anaheim Canyon 3
Corona del Mar 17, Ventura 4
Los Alamitos 17, Costa Mesa 2
San Marcos 11, Edison 8
Foothill 22, Beckman 2
Los Osos outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden (pictured above) claimed Player of the Year honors for the 2012 All-Valley volleyball team after helping her team to the CIF finals for the first time in school history. Los Osos coach Franco Macchia also reaped the benefits of the Grizzlies best ever season, earning Coach of the Year honors.
MEGHAN BUZZERIO, Chino Hills
The sophomore burst onto the scene with 532 kills in just 29 games to lead the Huskies to a playoff berth. The outside hitter also had 228 digs, 33 aces and 26 solo blocks to go along with a kill percentage of 39 for a Chino Hills team that posted an 18-11 record.
ERIN CLARK, Ayala
The Ayala setter had a spectacular year with 617 assists for the Bulldogs, who finished second in the Sierra League behind St. Lucy’s, the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Division 1A playoffs. The junior was instrumental in the team’s turnaround from a fifth-place finish in league in 2011 to second in 2012.
ARDEN DAVIS, St. Lucy’s
The senior libero, a member of two CIF-SS championship teams during her tenure, totaled 308 digs this season and earned All-CIF honors in Division 1A. Davis helped the Regents win a fourth consecutive Sierra League championship and a No. 1 playoff seed.
Player of the year: Aaren Vaughns, Charter Oak, Sr.
Offensive MVP: Jack Austin, Chino Hills, Sr.
Defensive MVPs: Eric Ortiz, Charter Oak, Sr; Eric Prevost, Charter Oak, Jr.
QB: Matt Simko, Chino Hills, Sr.
QB: Kory Brown, Charter Oak, Jr.
RB: Jordan Robinson, Ayala, Sr.
RB: Travion Boykins, Damien, Sr.
RB: Louis Napoles, Chino Hills, Sr.
RB: Cecil Fleming, Claremont, Jr.