PHOTO GALLERY OF TRIBUNE ALL-AREA TEAM
By Keith Lair
Tribune Girls Volleyball Player of the Year
Outside hitter, senior, Glendora
It is every high school athlete’s dream that in the final year of school to win nearly every match and make a long run in postseason play.
Marissa Montoya accomplished that dream, and more, in the 2016 volleyball campaign. She helped Glendora High School to a co-Palomares League title and helped get the Tartans to the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship match.
It is the furthest the Tartans have advanced in postseason play.
“We worked really hard this year,” Montoya said after a quarterfinal sweep of Bishop Montgomery. “This was our goal and we finally made it. Getting to the finals would be a dream come true.”
Glendora defeated host Foothill of Santa Ana in the semifinals to get to that dream and Montoya added to it by earning San Gabriel Valley Tribune Player of the Year honors.
In the division final, Glendora won the first set against St. Joseph of Lakewood, but the Jesters came back to win the title in four sets.
“We kind of put our heels back,” the outside hitter said of those final three sets. “We thought maybe it would be easier on us. They definitely pushed through. They were just at a fast tempo and that definitely was a problem.”
Montoya led the Tartans in kills in the match.
But the season was not over. Glendora earned a berth in the CIF State Division II playoffs, eventually losing in the Southern California semifinals to state champion Cathedral Catholic of San Diego in four games.
Montoya was one of the three Tartans’ go-to girls, which created havoc for defenses. She finished in the top 25 in the CIF-SS in kills with 381. She had a .246 hitting percentage.
She never left the court either, and was just as impressive in the back row. She had 449 digs, which was among the top 20 in the CIF-SS. She also had 52 aces.
Coach of the year
Clara Lowden, Glendora
The Glendora High School girls volleyball team never could seemingly get over that final hump.
Coach Clara Lowden finally helped the Tartans accomplish the feat. After two consecutive years of elimination in the CIF-SS quarterfinals, Glendora made it past the quarters. Way past. The Tartans played for their first CIF-SS title in program history and made their first CIF State appearance, reaching the Southern California semifinals.
Lowden earns San Gabriel Valley Tribune Coach of the Year honors for the feat.
She took over the team four years ago and in the last three years Glendora has won the Palomares League each year, tying for the title this season. Glendora has had at least 20 victories in each of those seasons.
Middle blocker, Senior, El Monte
Alarcon tried to help the Lions overcome Gabrielino for the Mission Valley League title; their lone two league defeats. She had a team-high 122 kills and a team-high 18 blocks. “Our season was spectacular,” she said. That included a playoff victory over Whittier.
Libero, Senior, Los Altos
The senior helped the Conquerors win their fifth consecutive Hacienda League title with her stellar defense. Los Altos went 10-0 in league play. The Conquerors had a top defensive backcourt and it was Iwamoto leading the way. She had 374 digs, more than twice as many than any of her teammates and she successfully handled 308 serve/receive opportunities, nearly three times more than any other teammate.
Outside hitter, Junior, Glendora
Lowden may have been the Tartans’ most versatile player and biggest option. She was one of Glendora’s top hitters, but she was just as adept at the backrow with big defensive plays while still contributing to the offense. She consistently had backrow kill attempts that forced defenses to scramble.
Setter, Senior, Bonita
The Bearcats’ run to the CIF-SS Division 4 quarterfinals was squarely put in Martinez’s passes. The senior had nearly 2,000 assists, teammates combined for only 28 more assists. She had only 10 ballhanding errors on the season. She also had 36 aces, 17 blocks, 60 kills and 261 digs, second-most on the Bearcats. She will play at UTEP next season.
Middle hitter, Junior, Gladstone
Ramos has helped the Gladiators to the best of times. Gladstone won its second consecutive Montview League title and was the top seed entering the CIF-SS Division 8 tournament. But Gladstone was knocked out in the quarterfinals. ”I think the pressure got to us,” Ramos said. “But we were really prepared as a team.” She led the Gladiators with 287 kills and 32 blocks. She also served 57 aces.
Outside hitter, Senior, Northview
The Vikings won their second consecutive Valle Vista League title and Sadler has been the key component each time. She was the league MVP on a team that went 21-9, but was upset in the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs. “It was painful, definitely painful,” she said.
Outside hitter, Senior, Glendora
Svagdis made defenses think twice. Defenders could not just concentrate on Marissa Montoya. They had to content with Svagdis, too. It made the Tartans a dangerous offensive team, enough to get to the CIF-SS championship match for the first time. She will play at Azusa Pacific next season.
Rachel Demerjian, setter, junior, Glendora
Julia Hooper, libero, senior, Northview
Carrie McGlohon, opposite, senior, Bonita
Anadina Morales, outside hitter, senior, Duarte
Kellie Pichotta, outside hitter, senior, Bonita
Jocelyn Portillo, outside hitter, junior, Duarte
Celina Vargas, outside hitter, senior, Gladstone
Kassandra Aguilera, middle blocker/outside hitter, senior, Bassett
Jenna Bailey, setter, senior, St. Lucy’s
Patti Delgadillo, outside hitter/middle blocker, senior, Los Altos
Selena Jara, setter/opposite, senior, Gladstone
Cassidy Marshman, libero, senior, Glendora
Brennan Miller, libero, senior, St. Lucy’s
Johanna Rodriguez, setter, senior, Edgewood