La Salle earns second CIF-1A volleyball championship
La Salle overcame a slow start, then finished strongly to capture its second CIF-Southern Section Division 1A girls volleyball championship in the past three years by defeating Harvard-Westlake (25-22, 25-20, 25-17) at Santiago Canyon College Nov. 23.
The Lancers came back from an early deficit in the first set and controlled the pace in the second before shaking loose from a back-and-forth battle in the third with a late 8-2 run to cap a sweep.
Jenny Haderlein spurred the Lancers to match point in the third set with consecutive kills on the heels of three more from Haley DeSales, who finished with 16 kills, 13 digs, and six blocked shots.
Renaissance Forster (8 kills, 6 digs, 3 blocks) sparked La Salle's tempo command in the second set with four consecutive kills for points 18-21, preserving crucial three- and four-point leads.
Caroline "C.K" Knop came through with three digs, assisted along by a pair of blocks from Forster, before smacking a thunderous kill for a 10-8 Lancer lead in the second before finishing with 10 kills and a team-high 17 digs.
Kat Knop played another integral part in the Lancers' digging party to thwart Harvard-Westlake's attacking schemes by chipping in with 15 digs. Cheri Raymundo added nine digs and had her own block party as well, denying access to five Wolverine attack attempts.
La Salle completed the season 31-5, winning the Del Rey League title with an 8-0 record and defeating Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in the semifinals in four sets Nov. 19 to reach the championship round. Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (23-4 overall) had tied Harvard-Westlake for the Mission League crown, each with 9-1 marks.
The Lancers, seeded fourth for the Division 1 state championships’ Southern California bracket, defeated Rancho Buena Vista Nov. 26 in straight sets in the first round. On Nov. 30, however, La Salle was defeated by Los Alamitos, the 1AA champ, in a thrilling second-round match, 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12.
Pomona Catholic wins 5AA
Pomona Catholic High School completed an inspired run through the playoffs to earn the Division 5AA championship, defeating Bishop Conaty-Our Lady of Loretto High School of Los Angeles in a hard-fought Nov. 22 final at Cerritos College.
The victory — 25-21, 27-25, 21-25, 25-13 — was euphoric for Pomona Catholic, which had finished 15-8-1 in the regular season and runner-up in the Arrowhead League (at 10-2). Conaty-Loretto won the Horizon League with a 7-1 mark (8-3 overall), edging out Alverno.
Coached by Randy Bohlman, Pomona Catholic was seeded third for the Division 5 state tournament’s Southern California bracket, which they opened Nov. 26 by beating Frazier Mountain in a come-from-behind five-set match. PC then lost its second round match in straight sets to La Jolla Country Day School.
In the Division 2A final, Mayfield Senior School of Pasadena lost to Olympic League champion Whittier Christian High School in the Nov. 23 match, after having posted a 20-1 regular season mark and winning the Prep League title (12-0).
St. Monica Academy of Pasadena, which won the International League championship with a 12-0 mark (18-3-1 overall), reached the Division 5A quarterfinals before losing to Hillcrest Christian in five sets.
Other Catholic high school league champions this season included Marymount (Sunshine, 1AA, 7-1 league), St. Anthony (Santa Cruz, 4A, 8-0 league) and St. Paul (Camino Real, 4AA, 8-0 league).