Damien Spartans of La Verne won the CIF-SS Division 5 boys volleyball championship against Laguna Blanca Owls of Santa Barbara by winning three matches in a row at Cerritos College Saturday, May 21, 2016.(Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)
By Stephen Ramirez
NORWALK >> This area has produced its fair share of dynasty programs. You can add another one to the list.
Michael Spinney had 12 kills and Damien High School won it’s second consecutive CIF Southern Section Division 5 boys volleyball title by sweeping Laguna Blanca, of Santa Barbara, 25-18, 25-22, 25-23, at Cerritos College.
Jack Mitchner had 25 assists and Daniel Enriquez and Marco Rodriguez-Fleishman had five kills each for the Spartans, who improved to 32-7.
Damien, which beat Arrowhead Christian for the Division 5 title last season, dominated the playoffs, sweeping four of their five matches, only pushed to five sets by Santa Fe in the quarterfinals. The Spartans are also eligible for the CIF State Southern California Regionals, which begin next week. The pairings will be released Sunday.
Laguna Blanca, slipped 28-5.
“It feels great,” Spinney said. “We knew coming into the season we had a good chance. I’m just happy we were able to fulfill it.
“We played as a team throughout the season and it really came together at the end.”
The Spartans used the same formula in each set — breaking away during the mid-point to close strong and win.
Damien, after falling behind to begin the third set, used a 7-3 surge to rally for a 17-15 lead. The Spartans, getting an ace from Mitchner and a kills from Spinney and Enriquez, then closed the match by winning six of the final nine points, including a spike by Enriquez down the middle that began the celebration.
“That’s how we’ve been able to play,” said Damien coach Randy Bohlmann, whose program also boasts four consecutive league titles. “In the quarterfinals, we had some match points against us against Santa Fe. We were able to withstand those and win the match.
“We were very battle-tested. I thought we played really well all day today. Our passing was good. We played solid volleyball.”
The Spartans used a 7-3 surge to break free from a 12-12 tie for a 19-15 lead in the first set. Damien then won the final five points, getting an ace by Nick Hibshman and a kill by Andrew McCarson, to win, 25-18.
Laguna Blanca, which got 14 kills from Philip Fauntleroy and 13 from Chris Costantino, scored seven of the first 11 points in the second set. But couldn’t withstand another Damien blitz.
The Spartans, getting kills from Spinney and Rodriguez-Fleishman, then countered with an 8-3 surge to lead, 12-10.
Damien, after pushing it to 19-15, then closed the set with a 6-4 run, winning it on a kill by Enriquez.
The Spartans then clinched the match by winning the final two points of the third set.
“We just found a way to push through,” Spinney said. “We were able to come together when it really mattered. The last two matches we were able to fullfil our destiny. It feels great.”
If you have any scores or stats from any local high school sporting events call them into the desk at 626-544-0992 or 0991 or scores@SGVN
Baseball La Salle 8, Rancho Alamitos 3 — Zane Lindeman was the winning pitcher, Ryan Garcia went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Sammy Martinez went 2 for 2 with a double and an RBI for the Lancers (20-7) in a CIF-SS Division 3 first-round win. Eric Zimmerman went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Joel Brown went 2 for 4 for La Salle.
Friday’s first round Redondo 9, Wilson 1
La Salle 8, Rancho Alamitos 3
La Quinta(LQ) 6, Covina 5 (8 innings)
San Dimas 3, Arroyo Grande 2
Walnut 3, La Quinta(W) 1
Bishop Amat 9, Palos Verdes 0
Friday’s first round Woodcrest Christian 8, Whittier Christian 0
Sierra Vista 5, Aquinas 1
Tahquitz 4, Maranatha 3
Monrovia 5, Campbell Hall 0
Cantwell-Sacred Heart 4, Ontario Christian 1
Garey 4, San Marino 2 (10 innings)
Capistrano Valley Christian 1, Temple City 0
Cabrillo(L) 6, Baldwin Park 1
By Fred J. Robledo
Baldwin Park — For a team that allowed just 30 runs, and 16 earned all season, Sierra Vista’s baseball team and its pitching staff that boasts an eye-popping team ERA of 0.83, wondered how it would hold up in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.
For a game at least, senior Adrian Cardenas answered that, throwing a three-hitter to lead Sierra Vista to a 5-1 victory over visiting Aquinas to advance to Tuesday’s second round on the road at Tahquitz, a 4-3 winner over Maranatha.
“It was a great win,” Cardenas said. “My defense had my back the whole game, they made the major plays when they had to.”
The Dons’ (21-2) offense did their job too.
Austin Morales singled home Jamyz Celiz for a 1-0 lead in the second and Matthew Aguayo singled in Cardenas for a 2-0 lead in the third. That should have been it, but an Aquinas (16-10) error led to two more runs and a 4-0 lead.
Aquinas had a huge opportunity to claw back in the fourth inning after Nick Ojinaga and Julian Holendor led off with back-to-back singles. Andrew Aguilera’s slow roller to third was mishandled and leaked into left field, allowing Ojinaga to score to make it 4-1 with two runners on and no outs.
But Cardenas, who improved to 8-1, showed why he’s so good by striking out the next three batters to get out of it. He finished with seven strikeouts.
For Falcons coach Robert De La Torre, that was the turning point.
“We had a run in and guys on base and no outs against a team that gave up 30-something runs all year and we couldn’t do it,” De La Torre said. “That was our chance to do something. He’s (Cardenas) been a bulldog all year long and after he struck out the side to get out of it, their was no touching him after that.”
Sierra Vista’s Daniel Lona scored from second on a failed pickoff attempt in the fourth, and that’s typically how the Dons score runs, being aggressive on the bases, and chipping away inning after inning.
“We take a lot of pride in our running and pressuring people,” Stevens said. “If you can keep it up and keep the pressure on for seven innings, a high school baseball team usually breaks. We forced them into a couple of errors and that’s how we play.”
CIF-Southern Section Playoff Schedule
Friday’s first-round results
Charter Oak 5, Paloma Valley 3
La Quinta 6, Covina 5
San Dimas 3, Arroyo Grande 2
Bishop Amat 5, Palos Verdes 0 Division 5
Sierra Vista 5, Aquinas 1
Ganesha 4, Bishop Montgomery 3
Lompoc Cabrillo 6, Baldwin Park 1
Saddleback Valley Christian at South El Monte, Saturday, 11 a.m.
Tuesday’s Second Round
South Hills at Paramount, 3:15 p.m.
Damien at Oxnard, 3:15 p.m. Division 3
Bishop Amat at Walnut, 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas at Woodbridge, 3:15 p.m.
Beckman at Charter Oak, 3:15 p.m. Division 5
Sierra Vista at Tahquitz, 3:15 p.m.
Monrovia at Ganesha, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills at Dana Hills, 3:15 p.m. Division 3
Bishop Amat at Chaffey, 3:15 p.m. Division 5
San Dimas at Edgewood, 3:15 p.m.
Fillmore at Nogales, 3:15 p.m.
By Fred Robledo
LA PUENTE — Bishop Amat waited longer than it wanted to break the game open against visiting Paramount in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 softball playoffs, but when the second-seed Lancers broke through, they kept their foot on the gas. Bishop Amat catcher Julia Valenzuela belted two doubles, scored and drove in two runs. Alyssa Barrera had a pair of doubles and an RBI and pitcher Samaria Diaz threw a complete game two-hit shutout, and doubled home three runs in an 8-0 rout over Paramount to advance to Tuesday’s second round on the road against Chaffey, a 5-4 upset winner over California.
“We wanted to come out with a bang and put a lot of runs on the board,” Barrera said. “We got to get the bats going, so that’s great to see the bats coming together in the first round.”
After wasting the lead runners in the first three innings, Valenzuela doubled to lead off the fourth. Two outs later, Barrera doubled her home for a 1-0 lead.
With runners on second and third and two outs in the fifth, Valenzuela came through again, doubling home Diaz and Karissa Dunn for a 3-0 lead. Aja Martinez singled home Valenzuela to make it 4-0, which was more than enough for Diaz.
“I’m really trying to go up there and get on base and get my team started because I have a great lineup all around me,” Valenzuela said.
Diaz helped herself with a bases-loaded double in the sixth that cleared the bases for a 7-0 lead and she was her dominating self in the circle, allowing just a hit in the first and seventh, retiring 15 straight at one point. She also had six strikeouts.
“It’s a good (start),” Diaz said. “We gotta lot of games to go and we want to win them all. We’ve got to stay efocused.”
It is that time of year again where the best softball players in the San Gabriel Valley will get to display their skills in front of their family, friends, and fans. This year’s San Gabriel Valley Softball All-Star Games will be held at Citrus College on June 6th and will include an Underclassmen Game at 5:00 PM and a Senior Game at 7:00 PM. Access to the field will be open to all players starting at 3:30 PM. All players will be able to use the batting cages for pre-game warmups. There will not be any restrictions regarding batting practice.
Pictures will be held at South Hills High School on May 27th at 5:00 PM. Players will be taking pictures and completing some paperwork. There will be a Senior picture, an Underclassmen picture, and a picture with all the players. Players on the North team will be wearing white jerseys while pllayers on the South will be wearing their colored jerseys (purple, blue, red, yellow etc). Players from each high school should match no matter what game that they are playing in. Players will get commemorative 2016 San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game t-shirts as a thank-you for participating in the festivities.
A first pitch will be thrown out before the Underclassmen Game at 5:00 PM by Diamond Bar High School alum and current University of Hawaii at Hilo pitcher Danielle Wilson. An additional first pitch will be thrown out before the Senior Game at 7:00 PM by Diamond Bar High School and University of California, Berkeley alum Brittany LaRosa.
There will be a $5 entrance fee to help offset facility fees.
If there are any questions regarding the All-Star Games, please contact Garrett Fisch at “email@example.com”. For any and all information regarding the All-Star game (including live updates from the game) please follow @DBHS_softball on Twitter.