By Fred J. Robledo Staff Writer
St. Lucy’s is back in the title game and senior Jasmine Warmington explained it best following the Regents’ 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 sweep over visiting Tesoro in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA semifinal. There were lingering doubts heading into the playoffs whether the second-seed Regents had enough to make a serious push to defend their title, but the Regents regained their focus and will have an opportunity at a second straight championship. (To continue click thread)
San Dimas’ dream season ends: After the fourth sweep in as many postseason matches, it’s clear coach Linda Pattison is the only one the No.1 seed is weighing on. Rim of the World’s three-game semifinal victory Tuesday over San Dimas – 25-10, 25-22, 25-14 – advanced the Mountain Valley League winners to the CIF championship either Friday or Saturday against the winner of the match between Brentwood and No. 2 seed Campbell Hall.
Tuesday’s semifinal results
La Salle def. South Torrance 25-16, 25-17, 25-23
St. Lucy’s def. Tesoro 25-23, 25-21, 25-19
Rim of the World def. San Dimas 25-10, 25-22, 25-
In all three sets not much separated the Titans and Regents, but when the pressure points arrived, the Regents delivered time and time again.
Warmington, who finished with a game-high 11 kills, explained the contagious sense of calm the Regents share during the pivotal points, borrowing a few words from coach Sean Douglas.
“Coach always says that champions die hard,” Warmington said. “You’re never going to stop fighting, especially if you have that in you and this team has that in us.
“We know what it takes, we know we can do it, so we give it our all no matter what the score is, and when we do that we usually come out and top.”
St. Lucy’s (26-6) will face La Salle (30-4) in the championship at Cypress College on Saturday at a time to be determined. La Salle advanced by knocking off top seed South Torrance in straight sets, 25-16, 15-17 and 25-23.
“It’s never easy,” Douglas said of competing for championships. “But that’s why our players love to play and why I love to coach, to have moments like this.”
Tied 20-20, Jackie Macy’s clean redirect for a point was followed by back-to-back kills by Marissa Hageman to go up 23-20 lead, then Arden Davis closed it out with an assist from Macy to give the Regents the opening set, 25-23.
St. Lucy’s clinged to a 22-21 lead in the second set, then Macy and Veronica La Pierre teamed up. La Pierre finished off two beautiful Macy assists as the Regents won the final four points to close it out, 25-21 to go up 2-0
In the final set St. Lucy’s fell behind 10-5 early but quickly regained control. And like the previous two sets, leading 20-19, the Regents won the final five points to get the sweep.
Chalk that up to championship experience.
“It’s because of last year,” Douglas said. “They’ve been to the championship, they won it, they know what it’s like and they’re fine with pressure.”
Junior Vanessa Caustrita was big too, finishing with 10 kills, and defensively, the Regents are as solid as it gets.
Liberto Arianna Sifuentes was everywhere with 11 digs, and sophomore Sydney Blast kept rallies going time and time again.
And of course there is the Colgate-bound Macy who finished with 38 assists and three blocks, and who has the luxury of setting up countless finishers like Warmington, Caustrita, La Pierre, Hageman and Dianna Rohrer.
“All our hitters are really versatile,” Macy said. “I have so many options, I just have to find them. It’s really a collective effort from all of us and it’s so great this team has an opportunity to win a title because we worked extremely hard during the summer to have this chance again.”