State tourney offers Heralds another chance to compete

Winning championships – be they Olympic League, CIF-SS Division 2A or State Division II – were talked about prior to the 2013 season by Whittier Christian’s girls volleyball team.

That wasn’t, however, a much-discussed topic once the season began. Instead, the Heralds figured if they played well against the best teams available, the championships would take care of themselves.

“Our main goal was to compete at the highest level we could,” said coach Shawn Hunter. “The main things we talked about were competing and effort and fighting hard.”

After a regular season that saw Whittier Christian play teams like 1AA quarterfinalist Redondo, 2AA quarterfinalist Riverside ML King and unbeaten 2AA champion Corona Santiago, the Heralds claimed both the Olympic League and Division 2AA titles, just as they did last season.

And beginning Tuesday at 7 p.m., the Heralds (33-6) can concentrate on the state tournament. As the No. 4 seed in Division II, they’ll host No. 5 La Costa Canyon from the San Diego Section in a first-round match. The Mavericks, runners-up in the San Diego Open Division, are 25-9 and feature USC-bound Brittany Abercrombie, a 6-foot-3 left-handed opposite.

A season ago, Whittier Christian was seeded seventh out of eight teams in the SoCal Regionals and lost its first-round match to King. This year, the Heralds are confident they can make a longer run, even with a probable match with Santiago (37-0) in the second round.

“This is another opportunity,” said Hunter. “We’re excited to keep that hope (of continuing to play) alive.”

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