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Trabuco Hills' strong bond pays off in 1A final
NORWALK – The senior class for the Trabuco Hills girls volleyball team has come a long way in a few years.
As sophomores, the group struggled at the varsity level. Saturday afternoon, the group helped lead the Mustangs to the top of the mountain, with a a 25-17, 30-28, 25-22 victory over Valencia of Valencia in the CIF-SS Division 1A final at Cerritos College.
The title is the first for the Trabuco Hills program. The season will continue next week for the Mustangs with the start of the CIF Southern California Regional championships.
“We’ve all been so close and working together,” senior Allison Kantor said. “We started off as sophomores and we weren’t the greatest, but we stuck it out and now we’re seniors and we’ve grown a lot.
“We never got discouraged because we have strong team chemistry. We’re all like each others best friends, and that has helped us stick together and work hard.”
When the team needed her, Kantor delivered in the finals. The Santa Clara-bound outside hitter recorded 32 kills.
Rolda, the team’s senior setter, had 37 assists. Carly McKinnedy had seven kills and 10 digs. Shawnee De Oliveira and Tara Eaton had 12 digs apiece.
“The super part was our setter (Antonette Rolda) going to Allie and she played amazing,” Trabuco Hills coach Craig Moothart said. “She put the team on her back when she had to and got the job done.”
In the key moments of the match, the Mustangs were simply better. In the second set, Trabuco Hills fought back to secure set point on the fifth opportunity, the Mustangs closed out the set.
Later in the third set, Kantor connected with consecutive kills for match point. The match ended on a hitting error by Valencia, and the Mustangs were able to celebrate their CIF title.
“I’m so super proud and happy,” Moothart said. “When you start in August and start building, you don’t know what the result will be. These kids were kind of like glue all year, they supported each other. I know it is a cliché, but they love each other.
“I told them today, embrace the moment, play hard, play loud and have fun. Not everybody gets here (to the finals). It was a victory for us to be here today and to finish it like this I’m truly honored and blessed to be part of this whole thing.”
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