Aliso Niguel's group effort too much for Trabuco Hills
ALISO VIEJO - The Aliso Niguel girls volleyball team entered the season as the favorites to capture a third consecutive Sea View League title.
In the first showdown against eighth-ranked Trabuco Hills, the Wolverines proved they’re still the team to beat.
Led by Kathryn Plummer’s 14 kills, eight from Gigi Ruddins and seven from McKenna Ross, the fifth-ranked Wolverines swept the visiting Mustangs, 25-21, 25-21, 25-17.
“Overall that was a great team effort,” Aliso Niguel coach DP Butler said. “Everybody contributed and that’s what you need against a team like Trabuco.”
Aliso Niguel (19-5, 5-0) is ranked third in CIF-SS Division 1A, and Trabuco Hills (21-3, 4-1) is ranked fourth.
The teams were supposed to play the first match a couple of weeks ago, but it was rescheduled when the referees didn’t show up. They will meet again Nov. 4 at Trabuco Hills.
Trabuco Hills coach Craig Moothart hopes the result and effort will be much better from his team than it was Thursday.
“We had 10 errors in the first set and 12 in the second set,” he said. “I don’t think we were ready for this environment yet. We’ve had so much success, but we haven’t been tested, so this is great for us to see what we’re capable of putting together.
“We had to cut down on our errors and embrace the moment. That’s what I’m hoping they learn from this. We’ll get them again at our place (Nov. 4), but when you’ve only lost six or eight sets all season, you’re not learning much, so I’m hoping that we can learn a lot from it.”
The Wolverines have become accustomed to big matches and that experience showed throughout the night.
Aside from leading the Wolverines in kills, Plummer also led the way with 15 digs. She also added 11 assists. Rachelle Runyon and Sophia Hosokawa had 14 and 10 digs respectively. Michelle Feliciano had 16 assists.
Allison Kantor led the Mustangs with 15 kills.
“We have a lot of underclassmen, but we have six seniors also, so we have a balance, but we’ve been working with the underclassmen and trying to get them prepared,” Plummer said. “We want them to gain leadership because when we’re gone they have to step up into that role.”