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Undefeated Magnolia sweeps up

STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM – Emily Mackprang and the Magnolia boys volleyball team aren’t strangers to early-season success.

The Sentinels have climbed to No. 6 in the CIF-SS Division 4 rankings and are undefeated in the Orange League, but they are staying focused on extending their success into the postseason.

Magnolia improved its record to 11-0 with a 25-9, 25-17, 25-13 nonleague victory over visiting La Quinta on Tuesday.

“We always say the star of the team is the team,” Mackprang, who is in her eighth year coaching the boys program, said. “They’ve really figured out that it takes a squad. It takes more than six guys to win and they live by that.

That team-first effort was on display against the Aztecs (7-7). Captains Miguel Diaz and Enoch Torres led the Sentinels with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Kalolo Pangia added seven.

Shannon Hua led the Aztecs with six kills.

“We’ve been together for a good while,” Torres said. “We get along on the court. That chemistry really helps out.”

The Sentinels have been ranked as high as fourth in the division in recent years, but the stumbling block in the playoffs has always been the second round.

This season, the Sentinels have swept all of their matches. Diaz said the reason for their success comes down to trust.

“We trust each other and know that person is going to be right behind us, covering,” Diaz said. “We have faith in each other and that makes us a pretty strong team.”

Mackprang believes this is the year the Sentinels get beyond their “second-round curse.”

“I think we have strength on the outside, middle and the right,” she said. “Usually we’re missing something, but I think we have all three.”

La Quinta returns to Garden Grove League play next week.

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com


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