Check out Keith Birmingham’s championship photo gallery.
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It wasn’t that Chino Hills didn’t push enough or want it enough during Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA girls volleyball championship at Cypress College.
St. Lucy’s just pushed and wanted it a little more.
After splitting during the season and sharing the Sierra League title, the rubber match came down to the clutch points, St. Lucy’s winning just enough to pull out a come-from-behind 22-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-20 four-set victory to claim their first championship over a Huskies team that advanced to the finals in their first-ever trip to the playoffs. (to continue, click thread)
St. Lucy’s (30-9) ended the championship on a roll, winning its 14th consecutive while the fourth-seed Huskies (30-5) looked on in disappointment.
The season is not over, both are in the state playoffs that are announced today and start next week.
But that can wait, especially for the Regents.
“We’re not a scrappy team, that’s not our style but they made us play scrappy,” Regents coach Sean Douglas said. “They made us change the way we play, but this is the championship and you have to do whatever it takes, and sometimes that means willing yourself to the finish line and that’s what we did. I’m so proud of our girls.”
Heather Trueman was the anchor throughout for the Huskies, finishing
with 16 kills. Jordyn Siko, the team leader on her way to Cal State Bakersfield, and Shelley Anderson, each finished with 13 kills.
“We took the first one (set) and had a lead in the second and felt
like we were in control, but you knew neither side was going to give an
inch,” Huskies coach Dana Buzzerio said. “Someone has to win the big points
and that someone was them.
“It’s tough, someone has to be on this side (losing). You have to
give them a lot of credit, but I’m not disappointed with our effort, we left
it all on the floor.”
The first three sets were everything everyone expected it be, each
set tied 21-21, with the Huskies scoring the final three points of the first
set to take a 1-0 lead, only to watch the Regents level the match thanks to two huge Deanna Dalton plays, a dig that dropped in followed by a kill to squeeze out set two.
That set up a breathtaking third set, with Dalton coming up with a
huge kill to tie the score, 23-23.
The Huskies had a set-point after going up 24-23, but Megan Callen
tipped-home a winner to tie the score 24-24, then it was all Dalton again.
She smacked a kill down the line off a great set, then came up with a
set-clinching block that gave the Regents a 26-24 win, and they used that
momentum to close out the fourth.
“Nobody was going to blow each other out here, not with these two
teams,” Douglas said. “They (Chino Hills) competed phenomenally. They never
gave up and I never expected them too.”
Regents junior Jasmine Warmington finished with 14 kills and senior
Alissa Young finished with eight kills.
Freshman Sydney Blast and junior Jackie Macy played great too, but that it was Dalton that came up with the crunch-time shots didn’t surprise Douglas at all.
Dalton finished with a game-high 17 kills.
“That’s why she’s (Dalton) a senior captain, she’s been there and
done that before,” Douglas said. “In the big moments, you want your big
players to play big and she did.”
Dalton, of course, knows who butter’s her bread.
“This was about our team, everyone contributed to this,” Dalton said.
“I don’t make (shots) without being set-up. We don’t win without everyone
playing a role. That’s why it’s a team championship.”
Young, a senior the Regents rely on too, thanked the Huskies for
pushing them to the limit.
“No other team has pushed us like that before, it makes winning it
that much more special,” Young said. “It’s everything you expected and more.
This is what we worked so hard for, and to see it pay off … it’s just hard