Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School softball player Serena Meehan poses with teammates after signing her scholarship letter to Farleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey Nov. 17, 2014. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)
St. Paul High’s Riley Kelly (#13), right, puts one past St. Anthony High earlier this season. The Swordsmen play La Reina Tuesday for a spot in the CIF-SS Finals. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)
By Stephen Ramirez St. Paul High School began the season as one of the top girls volleyball teams in the area, and the Swordsmen have lived up that billing and the pressure of being the No. 3 seed in the 4AA Division playoffs.
Now, they’ll look to add to it when they travel to No. 2 La Reina for a CIF-Southern Section semifinal match at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
St. Paul (30-6), which won the Camino Real League, have hardly been touched in the playoffs, needing just 10 sets in three victories to advance to the division final four. The Swordsmen should get a tougher challenge on Tuesday.
La Reina (28-8), which won the Tri-Valley League, also has needed just 10 sets to get to the semifinals. The Regents feature a lineup with three players with 200 kills or more, led by outside hitter Whitney Hunter, who has 230. La Reina also looks to Carolena Huseby, who has 209 kills, and Izzy Simqu, who has 200.
St. Paul, which advanced with a four-set win over Pacifica Christian, counters with Riley Kelly, who has 356, and Cheyanne Little, who has 255. Hannah Tostado has 204.
The winner faces the winner of Garden Grove-Alta Loma in the finals, either Friday or Saturday. The site, day and time will be announced on Wednesday. 2A
PALM SPRINGS AT ARCADIA, 7 P.M.
This is a battle of the upset kings, featuring the host Apaches, who beat No. 4 seed Viewpoint in four games in the quarterfinals, and the Indians, who knocked off top seed Louisville.
Arcadia (21-5), which went undefeated in winning the Pacific League, is led by Hannah Kennedy, who had 18 kills in the win over Viewpoint, and Lexi Resch, who had 17.
Palm Springs (24-5), which won Desert Valley League, counters with Asia O’Nell, who has 233 kills, and Michaela Hissam, who has 201.
The winner advances to face Troy or Windward in the finals. 4A
DESERT AT DUARTE, 7 P.M.
The No. 2 Falcons (25-8) are led by Kathy McKiernan, who has 183 kills, and Daisy Portillo, who has 145. Duarte advanced with a five-set win over Anaheim.
Desert (22-1) advanced with a sweep of Savanna.
The winner faces either Summit or Cate in the finals.
Division 3 At Irvine HS, 3:30 p.m.
Capistrano Valley vs. Laguna Beach
Montebello vs. Murrieta Valley Division 5 At Diamond Bar HS
Los Altos vs. La Serna, 5:30 p.m.
Claremont vs. Redlands, 7:30 p.m. Division 7 At Mt. SAC
Rowland vs. Don Lugo, 3 p.m.
San Dimas vs. Rio Mesa, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s semifinals, 7 p.m.
Palm Springs at Arcadia
Troy at Windward Finals: Saturday at Cerritos College, 10 a.m. Division 4AA
St. Paul at La Reina
Alta Loma at Garden Grove Finals: Friday or Saturday, TBD Division 4A
Summit at Cate Finals: Friday or Saturday, TBD
Village Christian 3, Pasadena Poly 1: The Crusaders rallied from a near-2-0 deficit to defeat the Panthers (24-6), 20-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-12 victory. Esperanza 3, Mayfield 0 The Cubs’ bid for a second consecutive title game ended in Orange County. Mayfield (20-8) fell 25-23, 25-21, 25-22. Sarah Johnson led the Cubs Division 2A
Arcadia 3, Viewpoint 1 Hannah Kennedy had 18 kills, Lexi Resch had 17 kills and Kelly Dopke added 16 kills in a balanced effort to lead the Apaches to a 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 victory to knock out No. 4 Viewpoint.
The Apaches (22-5) play host to Palm Springs in Tuesday’s semifinal match.Troy 3, Glendora 1 The Tartans (20-7) won the first game, 25-21, but the third-seed Warriors won the final three games in the 2A quarterfinal. Division 3AA
Quartz Hill 3, La Mirada 2 The second seeded Rebels rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the visiting Matadors, 25-27, 25-18, 22-25, 25-12, 15-8. La Mirada finishes 23-5. Division 3A
La Sierra 3, San Gabriel 2 The Matadors (18-5) rallied from two games down to force a fifth before falling 25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 13-25, 15-8.
“We played a horrible first two and then two really good games,” San Gabriel coach Larry Kanow said.
The Eagles built a big lead in the final game. Division 4AA
St. Paul 3, Pacifica Christian 1 Riley Kelly had 20 kills and Katie Engles 24 digs to lead the fourth-seeded Swordsmen to a 25-22, 25-13, 24-26, 25-11 victory at a match played at St. Bernard High.
St. Paul (31-6) plays at second seeded La Reina on Tuesday. Division 4A
Duarte 3, Anaheim 2 The second seeded Falcons rallied for a 25-16, 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-13 victory.
“It was an unbelievable game,” Duarte coach Irene Sunabe said. “I’m extremely proud. I think the girls know now what we are capable of.”
Duarte (25-8) led 6-1 in the fifth game. The Falcons will play
Anthony Garcia of La Serna is on his way to his first score of the first half against the visiting Dominguez Dons of Compton. The CIF Southern Section opener took place Friday night November 14, 2014 at La Serna.(Correspondent photo by Chris Burt/Sports)
Thursday’s second round
Division 1AA Corona del Mar def. Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 15-8 Division 1A No. 3 Chino Hills def. Norco 24-26, 25-16, 25-13, 17-25, 15-13 Division 2AA Pasadena Poly def. South Pasadena 14-25, 25-17, 25-23, 26-24
No. 4 Brea def. Whittier Christian 25-15, 25-21, 26-24
Mayfield def. Valley Christian 25-10, 25-13, 25-7
Arroyo Grande def. La Canada 25-15, 18-25, 23-25, 25-8, 15-6 Division 2A Palm Springs def. La Habra 26-24, 25-10, 25-14
Arcadia def. Claremont 25-10, 25-20, 22-25, 25-17
Glendora def. Sierra Canyon 25-12, 23-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-13
No. 2 Windward def. Bonita 19-25, 25-9, 25-16, 25-21 Division 3AA Rim of the World def. La Serna 25-21, 25-23, 25-20
La Mirada def. J.W. North 27-25, 25-15, 28-26, 25-18, 15-13
No. 2 Quartz Hill vs. California Division 3A No. 1 Saddleback Valley Christian def. Wilson 25, 11, 25-7, 25-6
La Sierra def. Gabrielino 3-1
San Gabriel def. No. 4 West Valley 25-20, 25-14, 25-22
Loma Linda Academy def. San Dimas 20-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-21,15-10 Division 4AA St. Paul def. Rolling Hills Prep 25-13, 25-15, 25-7 Division 4A No. 1 Cate def. Azusa 25-14, 25-20, 25-9
Katella vs. Gladstone
Desert def. San Gabriel Mission 21-25, 25-2-, 25-16, 25-23
No. 2 Duarte def. Carpinteria 25-20, 25-9, 25-9 Division 5AA Calvary Murrieta def. San Gabriel Academy 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24
All games 7 p.m. start
Division 1A No. 3 Chino Hills at Villa Park Division 2AA Pasadena Poly at No. 1 Village Christian
Mayfield at Esperanza Division 2A Arcadia at Viewpoint
Glendora at Troy Division 3AA La Mirada at California or No. 2 Quartz Hill at La Mirada Division 3A San Gabriel at La Sierra Division 4AA St. Paul at Pacifica Christian Division 4A Katella/Gladstone winner vs. St. Geneive/Summit winner
No. 2 Duarte at Anaheim/Boron winner
San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier annual national signing day group picture in West Covina on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
Christmas came a bit early for several area athletes, who all signed their scholarship letters to their respective colleges on Wednesday.
National letter of intent day was a banner crop for locals, led by Damien High School boys basketball player Jeremy Hemsley, who signed with San Diego State. The list also features several of the area’s top baseball players, including San Dimas’ Peter Lambert (UCLA), South Hills’ Gavin Velasquez (Cal State Fullerton), Glendora’s Nick Kaye (Cal State Fullerton), Damien’s Jonathan Olsen (UCLA) and Isaiah Carranza (Oregon), Bonita’s Danny Gelalich (Brigham Young), Nogales’ Anthony Guardado (Long Beach State) and La Mirada’s Ethan Lopez (Hawaii).
Softball players signing include La Habra’s Amanda Akles (Eastern Michigan), Los Altos’ Celeste Wood (MIchigan State) and Berlynne Delamora (North Carolina), Bonita’s Chloe Melanson (Miami-Ohio) and South Hills’ Caitlyn Van Hemelryck (Southeastern Louisiana).
Hemsley has been the Tribune Player of the Year each of the past two seasons. He will join a San Diego State program that many feel might be the best program on the West Coast after advancing to the NCAA Tournament each of the past five seasons, including two trips to the Sweet 16.
2014 EARLY SIGNEES LIST Boys Basketball
Jeremy Hemsley, Damien, San Diego State Baseball
Peter Lambert, San Dimas, UCLA
Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, Cal State Fullerton
Nick Hernandez, Charter Oak, Cal Poly Pomona
Danny Gelalich, Bonita, BYU
Austin Isenhart, Glendora, New Mexico
Jonathan Olsen, Damien, UCLA
Anthony Guardado, Nogales, Long Beach State
Isaiah Carranza, Damien, University of Oregon
Ethan Lopez, La Mirada, Hawaii
Sergio Robles, Bishop Amat, Cal State Bakersfield
Nick Kaye, Glendora, Cal State Fullerton
Ryan Beyer, Glendora, University of Pacific Softball
Taylor Escobar, Whittier Christian, Grand Canyon University
Eryn Sustayta, Bishop Amat, Utah Valley
Celeste Wood, Los Altos, Michigan State
Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, Arkansas
Tannon Snow, Chino Hills, Washington
Berlynne Delamora, Los Altos, North Carolina
Chloe Melanson, Bonita, University of Miami, Ohio
Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, Stony Book University, New York
Marissa Reyes, South Hills, Biola University
Niko Walker, St. Paul, Hawaii Pacific
Kalie Chavez, Charter Oak, Biola University
Caitlyn VanHemelryck, South Hills High School, Southeastern Louisiana University
Sasha Allen, South Hills, Northwest University (Kirkland, WA.)
Amanda Akles, La Habra, Eastern Michigan
Christine Pinela, Charter Oak, Azusa Pacific
Myranda Bueno, St. Paul, UNLV
Destiny Avena, St. Paul, CSU Monterrey Bay
Bailie Carroll, St. Lucy’s, Azusa Pacific
Savanna Corr, Chino Hills, Sacramento State
Natalia Bocanegra, South Hills, Howard College Girls Soccer
Hanna Armendariz, Bishop Amat, Portland University Girls Water Polo
Nichol Feldtz, St. Lucy’s, Sienna University
Hilary Adkins, St. Lucy’s, University of California
Devynn Stein, Charter Oak, Cal State Bakersfield Swimming
Michael Wang, Rowland, UC Santa Barbara
Madi Witt, Flintridge Prep, USC Gymnastics
Aubree Rosa, Charter Oak, University of Kentucky
Isabella Tsark, Glendora, Seattle Pacific University Girls Golf
Bethany Wu, Diamond Bar, UCLA
Patricia Wong, Walnut, Pepperdine Boys Golf
Jordan Della Guistina, Damien, Bethany College
Nathan Clark, Damien, Cal Poly SLO
Below: Charter Oak signees, left to right, Kalie Chavez, softball, Biola University; Nick Hernandez, softball, Cal Poly Pomona; Christine Pinela, softball, Azusa Pacific; Devynn Stein, girls water polo, Cal State Bakersfield; Aubree Rosa, gymnastics, University of Kentucky
Below: Bonita’s Danny Gelalich signs with BYU for baseball and Chloe Melanson with Miami, Ohio for softball
Below: Los Altos’ Softball players Celeste Wood signed with Michigan State and Berlynne Delamora signed with North Carolina
Below: La Habra’s Amanda Akles signing with Eastern Michigan
Below: Whittier Christian softball catcher Taylor Escobar signed today to play at Grand Canyon University
Below: St Paul softball signees Niko Walker Hawaii Pacific; Myranda Bueno UNLV; Destiny Avena CSUMB
The senior has averaged 19 and 22 points per game, respectively, the past two seaosns, including leading Damien to CIF-Southern Section 3AA title in 2012-13.
Lambert and Velasquez were two of the area’s top pitchers last season and will continue their careers at two of the top programs in the country.
Lambert, who was 11-2 with a 0.59 ERA in leading San Dimas to the Valle Vista League title, joins a UCLA program that has had its best success in recent years, including winning the College World Series in 2013.
“My decision was pretty easy,” Lambert said. “It goes back to last season. They were one of my only offers and UCLA has always been a dream school for me.”
Velasquez, who was 10-1 with a 0.67 ERA to help South Hills to the Sierra League crown, is the latest area star to join Cal State Fullerton, which past standouts have included Justin Garza (Bonita), Wes Roemer (Glendora), Tyler and Brett Pill (Covina) and Sergio and Richy Pedroza (Northview).
“It’s a great baseball program and has my major that I want to major in,” Velasquez said. “Their coaching staff is great. They have great history, the College World Series .. just a great program overall.”
Lopez, an infielder who hit .333 with 19 RBIs for La Mirada, arrived at Hawaii after earlier de-committing from USC.
“I didn’t feel (USC) would be the right fit for me,” said. “I restarted the recruiting process. Hawaii came around and when I went out there, it felt like home.”
Wood was one the area’s top softball players after hitting .547 to go along with a 12-2 record in the circle. She has no qualms playing at Michigan State and away from home.
“I’m ready for the experience,” Wood said. “I’m ready to grow my own independence and be on my own.
“(Michigan State) is a beautiful camps and the coaches are very nice. I watched a couple of the practices and I just fell in love with what they do.”
BOYS WATER POLO
Yorba Linda 10, Temple City 7
Montebello 15, Brea Olinda 3
La Canada 11, Moorpark 10 Division 5
Claremont 19, Citrus Valley 9
Riverside Poly 21, Walnut 9
Redlands 19, El Rancho 5
Los Altos 20, Glendora 9
Ayala 18, Riverside North 5
La Serna 12, Redlands East Valley 10 SCHEDULE
FIRST ROUND Division 2
El Toro at Damien, 5 p.m. Division 4
Arroyo Grande vs. Flintridge Prep at Pasadena Poly, 3 p.m. Division 7
Los Amigos at Baldwin Park, 5 p.m.
No. 4 San Dimas at San Gorgonio, 3:30 p.m.
Ramona at #3 Rowland, 3:15 p.m.
Nogales at #2 Don Lugo, 5 p.m. SATURDAY
Trabuco Hills at #3 Montebello
No. 2 Murrieta Valley at La Canada Division 5
No. 1 Claremont at Webb
Xavier Prep at No. 3 Los Altos
No. 2 La Serna at Ayala
Alexis Kolschefski #44, Ryana Murch #17, Ashly Hernandez #10, andCasey Lunceford #11 of the La Habra Highlanders celebrate a point during the first round CIF Playoff match against the Oak Hills Bulldogs Tuesday, at La Habra High School. The Highlanders lead the Bulldogs 2-0 at the time of deadline. (Photo by Robert Huskey) PHOTO BY ROBERT HUSKEY
LA HABRA >> A three-game first-round sweep by the La Habra High School girls volleyball team over visiting Oak Hills of Hesperia propelled the Highlanders to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2A playoffs Tuesday night.
La Habra will play Palm Springs on Thursday.
La Habra coach Adrianne Spear calls it the dreaded second-round curse.
Leading the way for La Habra was a pair of seniors, Alexis Kolschefski and Ryana Murch. Middle blocker Kolschefski, who has been on varsity for all four years, had a match-high 13 kills and eight blocks, while outside hitter/middle blocker Murch had eight kills.
Sophomore libero Mariah Venegas, who was all over the court saving hard kill-attempts by Oak Hills (15-12), had 22 digs and senior setter Ashly Hernandez had a game-high 22 assists. La Habra coach Adrianne Spear: “This year’s team has a lot of composure and it’s been a building process to get to a point to be where we can be composed.” – John Sherrard
Tuesday’s first-round results
Los Alamitos def. La Salle 25-16, 25-16, 25-17
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy def. 25-9, 25-14, 25-14 Division 1A
No. 3 Chino Hills, bye
El Toro def. St. Lucy’s 25-17, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22 Division 2AA
South Pasadena def. West Torrance 25-16, 25-21, 25-17
Pasadena Poly def. Paramount 25-16, 25-19, 25-18
Whittier Christian def. Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 25-19, 25-15, 25-21
No. 4 Brea def. Westridge 25-9, 22-25, 25-10, 25-22
No. 3 Laguna Beach def. Maranatha 25-18, 25-13, 25-9
Esperanza def. Monrovia 25-19, 25-19, 25-20
Mayfield def. Mission College Prep 25-13, 25-13, 25-17
La Canada def. Costa Mesa 25-9, 25-9, 25-11 Division 2A
La Habra def. Oak Hills 25-19, 25-19, 25-22
Palm Springs def. Walnut 25-12, 25-12, 25-10
Arcadia def. Apple Valley 25-14, 25-13, 25-14
Viewpoint def. Diamond Ranch 25-13, 22-25, 25-13, 25-15
Glendora def. Burroughs 25-23, 25-17, 25-18
Bonita def. Los Altos 19-25, 24-26, 25-11, 25-18, 15-6 Division 3AA
No. 1 Sage Hill def. El Rancho 25-10, 25-14, 25-17
La Serna def. Norwalk 25-19, 25-12, 14-25, 23-25, 15-13
Elsinore def. Santa Fe 25-12, 25-10, 25-19
Santa Monica def. Pioneer 25-14, 25-19, 25-19
La Mirada def. El Segundo 25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-22
California defe. Crean Lutheran 25-20, 23-25, 25-13, 25-22 Division 3A
Wilson def. El Monte 25-20, 25-10, 25-14
Santa Ynez def. Montebello 25-21, 21-25, 25-16, 25-20
Gabrielino def. Lompoc 25-16, 25-23, 25-21
San Gabriel def. Fairmont Prep 25-15, 25-10, 25-23
Bell Gardens def. South El Monte 25-13, 25-12, 25-11
San Dimas def. Morro Bay 25-19, 25-22, 27-25
Webb def. Covina 25-14, 25-10, 21-25, 25-21
No. 2 Templeton def. Rosemead 25-14, 25-9, 25-12 Division 4AA
No. 4 Garden Grove def. Pomona Catholic 25-20, 25-13, 25-15
St. Paul def. Colony 25-14, 25-15, 25-16 Division 4A
Azusa def. Bassett 25-4, 25-18, 25-22
Gladstone def. Ramona Convent 25-11, 21-25, 15-25, 32-30, 15-10
San Gabriel Mission def. Pomona 12-25, 25-12, 27-25, 25-19
Boron def. La Puente 25-21, 28-26, 14-25, 25-20
No. 2 Duarte, bye Division 5AA
San Gabriel Academy def. Palm Valley 25-19, 27-25, 25-22 Division 5A
Einstein Academy def. Waverly 22-25, 25-16, 16-25, 22-25, 25-12
Immanuel Lutheran def. Southwestern Academy 25-7, 25-14, 25-10
Thursday’s second-round schedule Division 1AA
Corona del Mar at Flintrdige Sacred Heart, 7 p.m. Division 1A
Norco at Chino Hills, 7 p.m. Division 2AA
Pasadena Poly at South Pasadena, 7 p.m.
Brea Olinda at Whittier Christian, 7 p.m.
Cerritos Valley Christian at Mayfield, 7 p.m.
La Canada at Arroyo Grande, 7 p.m. Division 2A
Palm Springs at La Habra, 7 p.m.
Arcadia at Claremont, 7 p.m.
Glendora at Sierra Canyon, 7 p.m.
Windward at Bonita, 7 p.m. Division 3AA
Rim of the World at La Serna, 7 p.m.
JW North at La Mirada, 7 p.m.
Quartz Hill at California, 7 p.m. Division 3A
Wilson at Saddleback, 7 p.m.
La Sierra at Gabrielino, 7 p.m.
West Valley at San Gabriel, 7 p.m
San Dimas at Loma Linda Academy, 7 p.m. Division 4AA
Rolling Hills Prep at St. Paul, 7 p.m. Division 4A
Azusa at Cate, 7 p.m.
Katella at Gladstone, 7 p.m.
San Gabriel Mission at Desert, 7 p.m.
Carpinteria at Desert, 7 p.m. Division 5AA
San Gabriel Academy at Calvary Murrieta, 7 p.m.