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San Juan Hills reaches Dave Mohs final

STAFF WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The Dave Mohs Tournament was sure to provide a test for the San Juan Hills girls volleyball team to gauge how far it has come in a short period under new coach Jessica Papell.

The Stallions, who were ranked eighth in the preseason county poll, proved worthy of every challenge, going undefeated Friday and following that with a 4-0 run Saturday, including a 25-23, 25-19 victory over fourth-ranked Edison in the semifinals.

All of the Division 1 Gold Division playoff matches took place at Edison High.

“We have a very talented group and I think speeding up our offense and adding some variety to the offense has helped a ton,” Papell said. “We’ve worked a ton on serving and passing and I think that’s improved a lot and really just fighting for every point.

“That was a huge reason we won our matches today. Our kids kept fighting, kept battling and hustling after every ball they possibly could.”

San Juan Hills began the day winning its pool and then defeated JSerra (21-25, 25-20, 15-9) and Huntington Beach (25-21, 25-22) to get to the semifinal match against Edison.

“I think this is a big step,” San Juan Hills junior outside hitter Katie Lukes said. “We have a new coach and it seems like we’ve evolved a lot from the past two years that I’ve been here and it is cool to finally get here.

“It is a little more competitive in practice, so that kind of rubs off on us here and I just feel like myself and a lot of people have improved for this season and our mindset has changed.”

The Stallions have one more challenge standing in their way and that’s top-ranked Mater Dei in Monday’s final at Edison at approximately 7:15 p.m.

The Monarchs swept all of their matches in the tournament, winning their pool and defeating Temecula Valley, Los Alamitos and Long Beach Poly in the playoffs to advance to the finals.

“From the start all the way on, I thought we were pretty consistent,” Mater Dei coach Dan O’Dell said. “I thought we got a little better with each match actually. We kind of got more comfortable and the girls played really well.”

In Division 2, ninth-ranked Esperanza defeated 10th-ranked Aliso Niguel in the semifinals (25-23, 25-21) to advance to Monday’s final against Long Beach Wilson at 6 p.m.

************

Dave Mohs Championships
Saturday

Division 1
At Edison HS
First round
Mater Dei def. Temecula Valley, 25-21, 25-22
Los Alamitos def. Santiago/Corona, 31-29, 25-27, 15-10
Long Beach Poly def. Sage Hill, 25-15, 20-25, 15-8
Harvard-Westlake def. Dana Hills, 25-14, 18-25, 15-11
Huntington Beach def. Tesoro, 25-14, 25-13
San Juan Hills def. JSerra, 21-25, 25-20, 15-9
El Dorado def. Beckman
Edison def. Orange Lutheran, 25-13, 26-24

Quarterfinals
Mater Dei def. Los Alamitos, 25-17, 25-14
Long Beach Poly def. Harvard-Westlake, 25-20, 25-23
San Juan Hills def. Huntington Beach, 25-21, 25-22
Edison def. El Dorado, 25-16, 25-22

Semifinals
Mater Dei def. Long Beach Poly, 25-18, 25-20
San Juan Hills def. Edison, 25-23, 25-19

Division 2
Semifinals
Esperanza def. Aliso Niguel 25-23, 25-21
Long Beach Wilson def. Yucaipa, 25-12, 25-16

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@scng.com


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