Breaking News: Chino Hills, St. Lucy’s Division 2AA Volleyball championship at Cypress College, Saturday, 1 p.m.
“This means everything to us,” Chino Hills coach Dana Buzzerio said. “And to play St. Lucy’s in the final, that’s exactly how we would want it to be.”
“Reaching the finals is what we’ve dreamed of for a long time now,” St. Lucy’s senior Alissa Young said. “Now we get a chance to win a crown against our league rivals.”
Above: St. Lucy’s and Chino Hills tied for the Sierra League title and split the season series, Chino Hills sweeping at home and St. Lucy’s winning in five at their place. After winning semifinals matches on Tuesday, the two will meet again for the Division 2AA crown Friday or Saturday at Cypress College. CIF’s finals schedule will be announced Wednesday.
Tuesday’s Semifinal results
St. Lucy’s def. La Salle 25-18, 25-16, 25-16
Chino Hills def. Oaks Christian 20-25, 25-14, 26-24, 25-18
Highlights: The Inland Insider was at Chino Hills’s victory over Oaks Christian, sending the Huskies to their first championship ever.
Tuesday’s quarterfinal results
Arcadia 11, Diamond Bar 7
Aquinas 11, Wilson 6
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
A dream scenario could come to fruition if the Chino Hills High School and St. Lucy’s girls volleyball teams take care of business in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA semifinal matches. The area powers split during the regular season and shared the Sierra League title, but a rubber match would provide a dramatic conclusion if both advance to Friday or Saturday’s championship at Cypress College.
Chino Hills (29-4) is the lone seed remaining after knocking out Riverside Poly in four games. The Huskies will host Oaks Christian (23-11) at 7 p.m., after the Lions knocked off top-seed La Canada in five games, winning 15-11 in the decisive fifth.
St. Lucy’s (28-11) swept third-seed Torrance in the quarterfinals and will be on the road in Tuesday’s other semifinal against La Salle (23-5-1), who knocked out second-seed La Reina in four. They also play at 7.
“I think everyone in the area would love that (Chino Hills vs. St. Lucy’s) final,” St. Lucy’s coach Sean Douglas said. “They swept up at their place and we beat them in five at our place. They’re still talking about it on the blogs, so it would be great to play again on a neutral site, that’s the way to settle it.
“But you know what, La Salle and Oaks Christian are in the semifinals for a reason and La Salle knocked off the number two seed, so we have a lot to take care of before we can think about an (all Sierra League) final.”
Huskies coach Dana Buzzerio admits it’s a dreamy proposition, but she doesn’t want any of her girls thinking about it just yet.
“We’re trying to focus on the game, we haven’t even talked about what could be,” Buzzerio said. “I’m sure it’s in the back of everyone’s mind and we need to keep it there and stay focused on what we have to do.”
“It’s dangerous to look ahead, especially against a team like that (Oaks Christian). They’ve been a great come-from-behind team. You can’t underestimate anyone in the semifinals.”
And how could the Huskies underestimate anyone, not only did they share a league title for the first time in history, this is their first trip to the CIF playoffs and they’re making the most of it.
“To go this deep (in the playoffs) it’s amazing,” Buzzerio said. “We want to keep it going. You don’t know when you’re going to get this opportunity again.”
Huskies senior Jordyn Siko has come up big in the playoffs, but so has outside hitter Karly Shockey.
“Jordan is an all-around athlete that plays every position well,” Buzzerio said. “But Karly has stepped up her game since coming back from an injury. It’s neat to see her peaking right now.”
St. Lucy’s junior setter Jackie Macy is another who has returned from an injury to help the Regents during their playoff run, though senior setter Kailey Faust played a huge role prior to Macy returning, and is still a big part.
What a luxury considering the Regents have the big three of Megan Callen (North Florida), Alissa Young (Sacred Heart University) and Deanna Dalton (West Point) all committing last week to playing big-time college volleyball.
“We wouldn’t be where we’re without Kaily Faust,” Douglas said. “But having Jackie back at 100 percent makes a world of difference.”