High School Notebook: St. Paul girls volleyball team rides momentum into playoffs

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN

St. Paul High School’s girls volleyball team finished its regular season strong and its efforts paid off in the end.

The Swordsmen defeated St. Monica 15-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 on Monday to capture the Camino Real League title outright.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Swordsmen (13-10 overall, 6-2 league).

“The girls did such a tremendous job,” St. Paul coach John Van Deventer said. “At the midway point of the season, I told them to take each game like a playoff game and they did.”

Riley Kelly led the St. Paul effort against St. Monica, recording 32 kills. Jillian Saenz and Katie Engle also played major roles, contributing 58 assists and 25 digs, respectively.

Kelly has paced the Swordsmen with 342 kills this season while Ariel Bonderov has 308 to place second on the squad.

Saenz has recorded a team-high 767 assists.

“We suffered early season injuries but we stuck it out,” Van Deventer said. “We have a great group of kids and we’re peaking at the right time.”

The Swordsmen, who are ranked No. 10 in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA poll, will now direct their focus on the postseason. The CIF-SS girls volleyball playoff pairings will be announced on Saturday.

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