Mayfield serves up title win
Mayfield defeated St. Margaret’s in four games to claim the CIF-Southern Section Division IV-AA championship. It was the Cubs’ first CIF title since 1978.
Mayfield Senior School players celebrate a four-game victory over St. Margaret’s at Cypress College.
Mayfield’s Abby Read ,11, Left, hugs Katy Mc Gee , Center, and Susan Carlson, as Mayfield beat St. Margaret 25-17 in the final game to win the CIF championship. (Pasadena Star-News Staff Photo Keith Birmingham)
Mayfield’s Michelle Gibson (1) celebrates as Mayfield beat St. Margaret 25-17 in the final game to win the CIF championship. (Pasadena Star-News Staff Photo Keith Birmingham)
By John Honell, Correspondent
CYPRESS – Mayfield School brought home its first CIF-Southern Section championship since most of its players’ parents were in grade school.
The top-seeded Cubs won the Division IV-AA championship Saturday by defeating third-seeded St. Margaret’s, 25-21, 26-24, 17-25, 25-17.
The Cubs lost in the finals in 1988 and 1989 and won their only title in the old small schools division in 1978.
“I don’t know if I’ve been this excited in my entire life,” Cubs senior captain Mary Kate Roohan said. “I’m ecstatic. We started in July and worked our (rears) off. We just love each other; it’s totally been worth it.”
The Cubs started fast against a Tartans team that has reached the finals in six of the past eight years.
Junior outside hitter Susan Carlson got a kill from the back court for the first point of the match and the Cubs took a 10-3 lead before fans were settled in their seats.
Carlson and freshman Anneliese Luck each got a pair of kills, and Rachel Aragon aced a serve in the run.
“It was staying excited the whole game,” Carlson said. “We tend to go up and down. I think the whole game we stayed as excited as we could be.”
The Tartans closed the gap to 23-21, but Aragon returned a shot that fell in for a point and libero Danielle Dondanville served for the winning point.
“I’m happy with my whole team,” Cubs coach Ernest Banaag said. “They wanted to be here, they wanted to enjoy it and this was one of their goals.”
The Cubs breezed through the playoffs and didn’t lose a game until a tight 3-2 victory over Chadwick in the semifinals. Saturday’s victory sent them to next week’s state championships.
It looked like the Tartans were going to win the second game until Carlson took over at the end.
The Tartans trailed 23-20 when Carlson got a kill on defense and scored two points on her serve. The second was an ace that tied the score.
“I’ve been focusing on my serve a lot now that my back is better,” Carlson said. “I’ve been trying to serve as hard as I can in games like these.”
With the game tied 24-24, Roohan got a kill and she and Hannah Schraer got a block for the victory.
The Cubs appeared to relax a little in the third game, and the Tartans cruised to an easy 25-17 victory.
“I told them, `You can’t wait to win,”‘ Banaag said. “Like in any adventure, you have to go get it. It doesn’t fall in your lap.”
There was no quit in the Tartans. The third game was a battle with no easy points. The game was tied 5-5 when a Tartans error gave the Cubs the lead for good.
That brought Carlson to the service line. Her first two serves were aces and forced the Tartans to take a timeout.
Coaches often call timeouts to try and stop an opposing team’s momentum, but this one didn’t work. Carlson continued serving until the Cubs scored nine consecutive points.
That took the heart out of the Tartans, and the Cubs ran out the 25-17 victory for the title.
Carlson had five aces in the run and led everyone with 11 in the match.
“It’s just her velocity,” Banaag said. “Our other girls that jump serve it’s nice and easy, but when the other team see Susan, it’s like a different mind-set. Even if they know it’s coming fast, it’s the velocity she has on the ball.”
Carlson had 23 kills, the last for the final point and the match.
Roohan, Schraer, Luck and Carlson scored a number of easy kills after good sets from Megan Sweeney.
“Winning is contagious,” Banaag said. “Maybe now it’ll put Mayfield on the map. Now, maybe, Mayfield is a volleyball powerhouse.”