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Hughes provides boost for Mater Dei
High school volleyball
Mater Dei's Sara Hughes stepped off an airplane Monday from Halifax, Canada, where she finished fourth at the FIVB Junior U-21 beach championships.
Tuesday night, she was on the court with the fourth-ranked Monarchs as they opened the season with a 19-25, 25-17, 25-18 25-20 victory over visiting sixth-ranked Dana Hills (0-2).
Hughes had eight kills, 30 assists and 11 digs. Frankie Shebby led Mater Dei with 21 kills.
"I'm tired," Hughes said. "My body is a little sore. In transiting from beach to indoor, I usually get shin splints, so I kind of feel them coming on a little bit. That's a little rough, but I wanted to be there for my team."
Hughes had one practice with her team before Tuesday's match. The Monarchs were a bit out of sorts in the first set. The Dolphins took advantage, thanks to five missed Mater Dei serves.
"We didn't get into our rhythm until later in the second game," Hughes said.
Over the course of the last three sets, Shebby recorded 16 of her game-high 22 kills.
Dana Hills cut the score to 14-13 in the fourth set on an ace by Tia Scambray. The Monarchs then scored four of the next five points to force the Dolphins to call a timeout at 18-14. Dana Hills called its final timeout of the set after a Shebby ace that gave the Monarchs a 21-15 lead.
"It took us a little bit of time to jell, but once that started to happen, we started rolling a little bit," Mater Dei coach Adam Cutrell said. "
Scambray and Nikki Matheis both had 15 kills for Dana Hills.
"We kind of backed off serving a little bit and they started to pass better and run their offense and we played catch up the rest of the time," Dana Hills coach Bryce Baum said. "They have a couple of good hitters, and they were spreading the ball around.
"We didn't pass as well as we did in the first set."
Dana Hills will face JSerra on Wednesday night in a nonleague match. Mater Dei doesn't play again Sept. 12, affording the team some much-needed practice time.
"I think once we get more practice and get our rhythm then we're going to be really good," Hughes said.
Jayden Pickell added nine kills for the Monarchs, with Cheyenne Arcuri and Elise Zappia chipping in with seven and six, respectively.
In the Gahr Classic
No. 3 Los Alamitos 3, Lakewood 1: The Griffins (6-0) put the finishing touches on the tournament with their 25-21, 26-24, 16-25, 25-23 victory at Gahr HS in the finals.
Cristina Maietta led the Griffins with 17 kills. Crissy Jones had 10 and five blocks. Justine Wong-Orantes had 45 assists.
In nonleague action
No. 10 Tesoro 3, No. 9 Capistrano Valley 1: Sara Krufka led the Titans (2-0) with 18 kills and Makensie Bates added 15 in the 25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 25-18 road victory.
Danielle Bolden led the Cougars with 17 kills.
No. 8 Laguna Beach 3, JSerra 0: Alyse Ford led the Breakers (2-0) with 19 kills in their 25-19, 25-23, 25-12 home victory.
Aliso Niguel 3, Northwood 0: Elise Ruddins led the Wolverines (1-0) with 16 kills and her sister Lindsey added 11 in the 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 road victory.
Kathryn Plummer had 30 assists.