St. Lucy’s advances to Division II Southern California regional final after four-set win

By Brian Reed-Baiotto, Correspondent
Saturday’s CIF-SS Division II girls state volleyball showdown between back-to-back CIF-SS champions St. Lucy’s and Downey had all the drama one would expect knowing a berth to the Southern California final was at stake. St. Lucy’s (29-5) weathered several Downey runs and was too good down the stretch as the Regents held off the Vikings 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16 at Damien High. (To continue click thread)

The Regents advanced to Tuesday’s Southern California final at Carlsbad La Costa Canyon High. The winner moves on to Saturday’s state title match at Concordia University in Irvine against the Northern California champion.

Downey led 23-22 in the first game, but St. Lucy’s senior standout Jasmine Warmington’s fifth and sixth kills helped the Regents win it.

The Vikings (29-5) dominated throughout the second game, thanks in large part to Joy Miley’s two aces and six kills, including one at 24-23 to even the match.

But St. Lucy’s rode a balanced attack to outlast a solid and relatively young Downey squad.

Warmington finished with 13 kills and almost always answered whenever the Vikings were starting to mount a rally.

“The returning players knew how much hard work we needed to put in to get back to this place, but as good as we were last year, we all wanted to get even better this season,” Warmington said.

Downey’s Central Arkansas-bound Heather Schnars saved her best for last with a match-high 21 kills and three aces.

“I am so proud we won two straight CIF championships, but I wish we could have won a state title,” Schnars said while fighting back tears. “This feeling will pass soon and what I’ll remember is how much I loved fighting with these girls for every point in every match we ever played. I couldn’t be more proud to leave this school with two titles because we worked so hard to earn them.”

Veronica La Pierre led the Regents with 14 kills, Marissa Hageman added 11 kills and senior setter Jackie Macy had a game-high 50 assists.

“Downey is very good and has a high-powered offense with really good athletes,”

St. Lucy’s coach Sean Douglas said. “It took us a while to get control defensively, but once we got settled, we were able to use the balance and depth that has served this team so well.”

Makayla Taylor had 13 kills and two aces and Miley finished with 14 kills and two aces for the Vikings.

“In the end, St. Lucy’s just executed so well when they needed to and earned their victory tonight,” Downey coach Andrea Sims said. “We gave everything we had, but just didn’t play at the level we’re capable of playing.

I couldn’t be more proud of these girls for representing our school and program like champions.”

St. Lucy’s won the CIF-SS Division 2AA title last weekend with a sweep over La Salle and Downey wrapped up its second CIF-SS Division 2A title with a five-game thriller over Whittier Christian.

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  • Nice article, but obviously written from the other team’s perspective. I would have thought that a State 2nd Round Game would have warranted some local coverage. Oh well. Thanks to the great crowd that came out in support of the Regents. It’s understandable if you cannot make the trek out to Carlsbad on Tuesday, but the team would love to see as many of you there as possible!

  • Fred Robledo

    It was a completely balanced story written that way so we could share it with out sister papers, the Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram. As far as warranting local coverage, this is the fourth straight St. Lucy’s playoff game we covered with a photographer at each. I’d say that’s taking care of the local team, but we’re not the St. Lucy’s Tribune. Now forget all of that, I want to see them play for a state title on Saturday!

  • St. Lucy’s Fan

    This is the second State playoff game I’ve been to and I can say St. Lucy’s is one mentally tough minded squad. Downey gave them all they could handle. Downey has nothing to be ashamed of as every single point was played with outstanding effort. In fact several times the pro-St. Lucy’s crowd erupted in cheers only to see yet another Downey save to keep the point going. However SL’s is like a bad dream as they just keep coming, time after time after time. Coach Douglas does a great job working so many players in and keeping the other team off balance. Team chemistry is clearly very high for the Regents and that’s a credit to Senior leadership.

    Great win for the Regents who enjoyed near packed houses on big State wins.

    Fred I’m sure you’re doing the best you can giving St. Lucy’s a bone as you would any two time CIF Champion that isn’t Charter Oak or Bishop Amat.

  • Didn’t mean to harsh on you. I know that you are stretched thin and do your best to cover all local sports, Lucy’s volleyball included. (Though I do like the idea of a St. Lucy’s Tribune.) Sorry if I came across that way. In any event, we are all hoping to see the girls play on Saturday for a State Championship, but first they’re going to have to get through a really tough team on Tuesday. Coach Douglas and these girls have proven that they know how to get the job done. Let’s hope that the winning continues!

  • Let’s Go Regents, Let’s Go

    Thought the article was well written and captured the momentum of the game. At this point, both teams are to be congratulated. Lots of talent on both sides, they deserve to be celebrated.

    We can do it Regents! Play hard, play to win!!!