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Tesoro's playoff run ends in semifinals
The final chapter in the storybook season for the Tesoro girls volleyball team was written Tuesday night.
The Titans, who in their first season of competing in CIF-SS Division 1AA, put the program on the county landscape with a strong season that ended in the semifinals.
Marymount of Los Angeles, the second seed, defeated Tesoro, 29-27, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22.
The Sailors (32-5), who are also in their first season in 1AA, will face top-seeded Redondo Union in the finals Saturday night at Santiago Canyon College.
"That's a really good team," Tesoro coach Rich Polk said of Marymount. "When they're in system, they're really tough to stop with those two middles. We need to win game 1 ... we're up 23-21 ... we needed to close that and then we have an opportunity to maybe be up 2-1.
"I knew we weren't going to hold them for very long. They started to compete and battle and they're well-coached."
After dropping the first set and surviving a crazy rally by Marymount in the second set, the Titans (28-6) found themselves tied heading to the third.
In the second set, Tesoro led 24-12, but didn't close out the set until its ninth set point attempt.
In the third set, the Sailors started to feed their middle blocker Kaitlyn Edwards. The senior finished with seven kills in the set.
“If we can pass, then we can get the ball to the middles,” Marymount coach Cari Klein said. “Trying to keep a young setter focused on that is not always easy.
“I thought in game one, a lot of our middle sets were low. We were running it (the middles), but it was just pretty ineffective. We were going to it, but I didn’t want them to stop just because we were making mistakes.”
The Titans put up a great effort in the fourth set, pulling within 22-21 on a hitting error, but that was as close as the Titans would get.
"Our run through the playoff here and being able to beat Santa Margarita, Chaparral and Long Beach Poly (in the playoffs), these guys had a great run," Polk said.
"This is the best this school has ever done in volleyball, so it was pretty exciting."
Also in 1AA:
Redondo 3, Corona del Mar 0: The top-seeded Seahawks (35-3) advanced to the finals with the 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 victory at Redondo. Haley Hodson led CdM (28-7) with 17 kills.
St. Margaret's 3, Aquinas 0: Gigi Morally had 22 kills and 12 digs and Peighton McRobie had 12 kills and 13 digs to lead the top-seeded Tartans (25-3) back to the finals with the 25-21, 25-21, 25-16 road victory.
Ashley Torok had 40 assists for the Tartans who lost in last year's 4AA final to Academy League rival Sage Hill. The teams will meet again Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Cypress College.
Sage Hill 3, Ontario Christian 2: The third-seeded Lightning (20-7) is headed back the finals thanks to a 25-19, 19-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-6 road victory over second-seeded Knights.
Hemet 3, Loara 0: The Saxons, who entered the match with a 22-0 record, were swept by the Bulldogs (22-5), 25-14, 25-16, 25-17, at Loara.
Saddleback Valley Christian 3, San Jacinto 0: The Warriors (28-4) completed another sweep, taking down host San Jacinto, 25-18, 25-17, 25-14.
Saddleback Valley Christian, the top seed, will face second-seeded Hemet in the finals Saturday at Cypress College at 5 p.m.
Orangewood Academy 3, Temcula Prep 1: Celeste Rivero had 15 kills to lead the third-seed Spartans (21-4) into the CIF finals for the first time in school history.