New faces, same results for Los Alamitos
The third-ranked Griffins defeat Mira Costa in four games.
LOS ALAMITOS – The Los Alamitos girls volleyball team, the defending CIF-SS Division 1AA champion, kicked off the 2012 season Tuesday with a lot of new faces in the lineup.
However, the third-ranked Griffins took a positive first step in defeating visiting Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach, 25-13, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20.
"It feels really good to a get a win like that to start off the season against a team as good as Mira Costa," Los Alamitos coach Dave Huber said. "There are a lot of unknowns for us coming in, with kids replacing what we lost from last year, so it is good to play fairly consistent and get that win."
One of the new faces is actually a familiar one in outside hitter Cristina Maietta. The junior, who made the all-tournament team in a preseason tournament in Hawaii, led the Griffins with 16 kills Tuesday.
Maietta was a reserve on last year's team.
"I think she's going to have that breakout year," Huber said. "I think she's going to be the one that steps ... we need her to."
Ella Johnson had nine kills, Annie Hale and Jeneva Crossley had six and five respectively.
In the key stages of the fourth set, the Griffins' veterans took charge. Junior middle blocker Crissy Jones had five blocks in the fourth set to help take control.
Senior setter Justine Wong-Orantes finished with 45 assists.
"Four- year starter at setter (Wong-Orantes) and a three-year starter in the middle (Jones), that's a good base for us to build around," Huber said. "Hopefully, they lead by example and the rest of the girls fill in and then we can do some things.
One of the turning points of the match came in the second set. Mira Costa led, 24-17, but the Griffins survived six game points to cut the score to 24-23. The Mustangs would eventually win the set to tie the match.
"For us to chip away and get the crowd yelling and screaming again, made the girls feel confident about the things we were trying to do was huge," Huber said.
The Griffins will now turn their attention toward the Gahr Molten Classic, starting Thursday. The Griffins won the tournament last year.
"It gives you a chance to do some things," Huber said. "It should good for us to build and try and get some consistency."