Mater Dei takes first step toward its new goal


After dropping a five-set match for the CIF-SS title, the Mater Dei girls volleyball team stepped back on the court Thursday with a new goal in mind.

The Monarchs are seeded second in the CIF SoCal Regional Open Division and took a positive first step with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 victory over visiting La Costa Canyon.

“Saturday was a tough loss, but at the same time we played really well and it was everything I could have asked for from our team to give it our best,” Mater Dei senior outside hitter Shannon Scully said. “Getting back into the gym after having three days off, it was rough to start, but we were preparing for this game.”

Scully led the Monarchs (35-6) with eight kills. Natalie Berty added seven, with Kyla Waiters and Mia Tuaniga chipping in six and five, respectively.

“It started off not as good as we would have hoped, but in the end, we started to pick it up,” Scully said. “We know that we can still win a ring at state, so we have to look past CIF.”

Mater Dei will face third-seeded Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach in the second round Tuesday.

The opening set was tied, 14-14, before Mater Dei went on a 5-1 run to take the lead for good. In the second set, Mater Dei trailed, 16-14. With the score tied, 17-17, the Monarchs scored three consecutive points and never looked back.

“I was really worried about this game, just from the standpoint of the emotional letdown that happened on Saturday,” Mater Dei coach Dan O’Dell said. “I don’t think we played our best, but we played kind of blue-collar, made sure we executed, we served tough and got them out of system a lot.

“I don’t know if we solely bought into, ‘OK, we have to go win state right now.’ We were kind of complacent at practice a little bit, but getting a win like this, making it to the next round, the picture becomes a little clearer.”

Also in the Open Division:

Santa Margarita 3, Liberty of Bakersfield 0: Meghan McClure led the top-seeded Eagles (36-4) with 21 kills in a 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 victory at Santa Margarita.

Julianna Reisinger had 10 digs and Devon Chang had 34 assists.

Santa Margarita will host Torrey Pines on Saturday.

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