El Dorado keeps battling, reaches first CIF-SS final
PLACENTIA – El Dorado outside hitter Kelly Claes was at a loss for words.
With a fanatical student body celebrating all around her, the junior was simply taking in the moment, not yet realizing her team had just made school history.
Behind Claes’ team-leading 14 kills, El Dorado punched its ticket to the school’s first CIF-SS girls volleyball final by defeating Capistrano Valley in four sets, 25-17, 19-25, 25-15, 25-22, Tuesday night in a Division 1A semifinal at El Dorado High.
“It’s fantastic,” Claes said. “We have a great group of girls, and when we are clicking we can be incredible.”
The Golden Hawks (19-13) will play for the championship Saturday at 5 p.m. at Santiago Canyon College. They will face La Salle of Pasdena, which defeated Bishop Montgomery of Torrance in five sets Tuesday night.
“All playoffs, we have been very consistent,” El Dorado coach Craig Tefertiller said.
“The team has been coming together, and tonight they fought very hard.”
After splitting the first two sets, the Golden Hawks seized control of the critical third set. Leading 12-11, El Dorado claimed 10 of the next 11 points to claim a 22-12 advantage.
Tess Hultgreen put away 3 of her 9 kills over that run, putting the Golden Hawks a set away from the finals.
Capistrano Valley (27-8) jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the fourth game, but saw that quickly fade after five consecutive points from El Dorado.
With the Cougars leading 8-7, the teams traded the next 12 points to make the score 14-13. Claes tied the score with her fifth ace of the match, and the Golden Hawks never trailed again.
Claes finished the match with her sixth block, as she denied Cougars outside hitter Danielle Bolden, who totaled a game-high 23 kills.
“We’re showing the teams that have played longer than us that anybody can win this thing,” Claes said. “Now we can look forward to Saturday.”