Thursday, September 27, 2012

St. Lucy's Beat the Bulldogs in League Opener

It just so happens that my daughter's BFF is the amazing setter at Ayala, so this match, which I've dubbed "The Battle of the Besties" had particular significance for us.  Despite a promising beginning, the contest turned out to be one-sided as the Regents swept Ayala 25-21, 25-18 and 25-20.

Ayala got out to a quick 4-2 lead in set one, but that was one of very few leads the Bulldogs would enjoy all evening.  The teams chased each other back and forth to a 10 point tie before the Regents began to pull away.  Roni LaPierre got things started with a solo block, which was followed by tough serving by Sydney Bast, and hustling defense by Arden Davis, Eryn Young, Bast, and LaPierre.  Before Ayala could say "Bulldog" the Regents had taken a 22-16 lead.  Ayala made a late-set push and closed the gap to 3, forcing a St. Lucy's time out at 24-21.  St. Lucy's came out of the time out and finished set one on a tool of the Sam Bozoian block by LaPierre.

Sets 2 and 3 lacked any real verve.  The Bulldogs fell behind by ten points and took a time outs trailing 6-12 and 7-17.  The Ayala coach urged his girls to get out and play with heart, and the message started to get through.  At one point, three Ayala players found themselves tangled in the middle of the court as they hustled to save a ball (and win the point.)  They cut the lead in half, trailing just 14-19, but could get no closer.  Loryn Carter tipped to side out at 20-14 and the Regents raced to the finish line, winning set two 25-18.    Set three was more of the same: even start, followed by the St. Lucy's slow build to a five point lead at 8-3.  Ayala called a time out to disrupt Arden Davis' service run and reduced the lead to just one, 8-7.  Marissa Hageman's persistence at the net, combined with good pin play by Vanessa Caustrita, Loryn Carter and Roni LaPierre got the Regents to a 20-14 lead.  Ayala made yet another late-set run and cut the lead to 3 at 20-23.  St. Lucy's was never in any real trouble though and closed it out 25-20 with a cross-court kill by Maddie Gilmartin and an ace by Juliet McClure.

The stat leaders for St. Lucy's were Juliet McClure with 3 aces, 6 digs and 23 assists, Roni LaPierre with 9 kills, 10 digs and 1 block, Vanessa Caustrita with 8 kills and 2 blocks, Loryn Carter with 7 kills and 1 block and Marissa Hageman with 3 kills and 1 block.  The Regents next game is Tuesday, October 2nd, at Claremont.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

St. Lucy La Salle Match Lives Up To The Hype!

GLENDORA-  The St. Lucy Regents took on their newest rival, La Salle, in a grudge match of all grudge matches.  The Regents beat the Lancers in last year's CIF final to capture the ring and bragging rights.  A hot La Salle team, coming in off of consecutive tournament wins and with something to prove came into the Regents house in hopes of taking some revenge.  The Regents, however, had another plan in mind, defeating the Lancers for the third consecutive time in a grueling 5 set match 28-30, 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12.

The Regents came out in set one playing a little tight and the Lancers came out on fire.  La Salle's defense was tenacious and got the Lancers out to a 3 point lead.  Juliet McClure served up three consecutive aces to tie the game at 12 and force a La Salle timeout.  From that point the teams battled, trading a one and two point lead and playing UNBELIEVABLE defense on both sides of the net.  La Salle appeared to be in the driver's seat with Hailey DeSales serving and a 2 point edge at 20-18, but Lucy's got the side out, Arden Davis got the ace and we had a new game, tied at 20.  Then the race was on.  La Salle got a kill down the line- 21-20.  Roni LaPierre tipped the ball over to tie it 21-21.  La Salle got a kill tooling the block and went ahead 22-21.  LaPierre tipped again to tie it at 22.  Sydney Bast came in and gave the Regents the lead with an ace, 23-22 Regents.  A service error gave the ball and a tie back to the Lancers.  Loryn Carter smashed a kill cross court to give the Regents set point at 24-23.  Hailey DeSales responded with a monster kill to tie it at 24.  La Salle dug up two balls that Loryn Carter crushed, but could not get to the soft tip.  The Regents had another set point, and another service error, sending the match to ties at 26, 27 and 28.  La Salle finally got the edge after a highly contested point ended with the ball dropping in the back corner of the Regent's court.  The Regents mishandled the serve receive and La Salle closed out set one, 30-28.

Set two began with the teams sparring, trading jabs and points.  A solo block by Marissa Hageman gave the slight lead to the Regents at 5-3, which they consolidated with a well executed back court attack from Bast.  Hageman and LaPierre paired up for another block and the lead became a three point spread.  The Regents maintained a three to four point lead and trailing 12-16, the Lancer's took a minute to talk it over. After the time out, Roni LaPierre served up three aces in a row and the Regents took their defense to an even higher level, forcing La Salle to take another break, this time trailing by eight points, 14-22.  La Salle attempted to mount a come back, but a wicked cross court cut by Vanessa Caustrita put the Regents up 24-19.  The Regents went on to win set 2 25-20.

Set three was all St. Lucy's.  They got out to an early lead, 12-7, and never looked back.  Despite solid play on both sides of the net, and more incredible defense, Lucy's coasted to an easy victory, 25-18.  At this point, the La Salle Lancers stepped outside of the gym to have a chat.  I'm not sure what the coach told them, but whatever it was invigorated the team and they came out in set 4 like wildcats.  The Lancers quickly got out to a 12-4 lead, treating the Regents to a Lancer block party.  The Regents found themselves down 18-10 before Vanessa Caustrita put a stop to the bleeding with a kill cross court.  The Regents seemed to find their focus and began chipping away at the lead.  The Regents pulled to within one point, trailing 22-23, with the serve, but sided out.  The Lancers took advantage of an overpass on the serve receive and took set 4 with an easy kill.

As some predicted, this match between two very good and very tough teams came down to the fifth set.  The Lancers had the momentum going into set five and got started with an ace.  Dianna Rohrer and Loryn Carter's dual block awakened the crowd and just like that, the momentum shifted.  Both teams played their hearts out and the match was tied at 7, 8, and 9.  Vanessa Caustrita got a ball down to send the Regents ahead 11-9, and send the Lancers to the bench for a time out.  The Lancers battled back, cutting the lead to one, 12-11 by tipping the ball over on two, and following with an ace serve.  The Regents called time out, came back on court, Mo Hagemen crushed the ball on a well executed slide and Lucy's had the lead 13-11 and the ball.  Loryn Carter delivered a  paralyzing kill down the line to give the Regents match point.  The Lancers weren't ready to board the bus just yet and sided out, still hoping to pull out the victory but trailing 14-12.  Freshman Loryn Carter, playing well beyond her 13 years (yes, she's 13) got the final kill to end it.  St. Lucy's wins 15-12.

This game was hyped up in the press and on social networks and actually lived up to the hype.  Don't be surprised if you see these teams matched up again in the post season.  St. Lucy's and La Salle are both the real deal!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Regents Take Down the Cougars in 4!

GLENDORA-  The Regents dispatched Rancho Cucamonga in 4 sets, but it was not easy!  Still smarting from day two at Durango, the Regents got off to a slow start, falling behind the Cougars in set one by as many as 10 points.  Like true champions, Lucy's shook off their blues and picked up their game, closing the gap to get within striking distance.  Unfortunately, it was too little, too late, and the Cougars took the first set 25-21.

Set two began with the teams trading points.  Eryn Young vaulted the Regents to the front on a six point service streak that put the Regents up 12-7.  The Regents never lost the lead again, but just barely.  Rancho chipped away until they were trailing by just a point, 20-21.  Marissa Hageman had an answer and put the ball down in the corner to give the Regents breathing room at 22-20, then Sydney Bast served up an ace to get the Regents to set point leading 24-20.  Roni LaPierre put an end to the threat and the set with a kill for the win, 25-21 and the match was even at one set a piece.

The Regents got off to a much better start in the crucial third set, building a 10-4 lead; Vanessa Caustrita's tool of the block energizing the crowd and forcing a Cougar time out.  The Regents stretched their lead to 17-8 with a lot of hustle and heart, digging balls that looked like sure kills, covering blocks well and picking up the tip shots.  St. Lucy's ran away with set three, 25-14.

St. Lucy's could not sustain the momentum of set three, and started set four with several service errors.  Arden Davis made an amazing dig to keep the Regents from falling down 1-4.  The game was tied at 6 before St. Lucy's started to inch out a lead.  The Regents appeared to be in the driver's seat when Juliet McClure served two aces in a row and took the lead to 14-9.  McClure and Hageman hooked up to run a picture perfect slide, Mo's kill putting the Regent up 20-15.  Desiree Villajin got the final kill with a back row attack to give St. Lucy's the win 25-17.

The stat leaders were Juliet McClure with 37 assists, 12 digs and 3 aces; Vanessa Caustrita with 17 kills, Loryn Carter with 13 kills, Roni LaPierre with 12 kills and 6 digs, Arden Davis with 26 digs, Sydney Bast with 12 digs and 3 kills, Dianna Rohrer with 2 aces, 3 blocks and 4 kills and Marissa Hageman with 6 kills and 2 blocks.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day Two at Durango Proves To Be Too Much For The Regents

LAS VEGAS-  Suffice it to say that it was not St. Lucy's day.  I will spare you the gorey details, but the problems can be summed up like this:  tougher competition than they've ever seen, atypical sluggishness, uncharacteristically poor ball control and unusually high errors.  The result:  the Regents went 0 and 8 in Day Two of the Durango Classic.  The Regents lost in straight sets to Horizon (Scottsdale Arizona) 22-25 and 19-25; Liberty (Bakersfield) 19-25 and 19-25; Notre Dame Academy (Park Hills Kentucky) 24-26 and 21-25; and Long Beach Poly 22-25 and 12-25.  On the bright side, St. Lucy's finished a program best 16th in a field of 48 extremely strong teams, had many moments of brilliant play and knocked off Xavier (number 18 in the Nation) to get to the championship round.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

St. Lucy's Moves Into The Durango Classic Championship Division Qualifying Round

HENDERSON, NEVADA-  The St. Lucy Regents have played their way into the Durango Fall Classic Championship Division qualifying rounds for the first time in the program's history by going 1-1 in pool play and winning their cross-over match earlier this evening.  Here's how the day played out.

There are no easy teams in this tournament, and the Regents saw first hand just how tough the competition is when it faced last year's CIF State Semi-Finals foe La Costa Canyon and 2-time CIF opponent South Torrance in pool play.  LCC took its match against South in 3 contested sets; 17-5, 25-14, 25-17.  Then it was the Regents turn with South.

In typical fashion, Lucy's got out to an early lead, forcing South to call a time out trailing 2-7.  Undeterred, the Regents kept marching, stretching their lead to as many as 8.  But South found something in the tank and mounted a furious comeback.  They cut the lead to 1 point at 20-21 before siding out with a service error.  That was all the Regents needed and they closed out the set on a kill by Princess Vanessa Caustrita to end the game 25-21.  Set two looked like it was going to be all St. Lucy's, who got out to a 20-12 lead behind some crushing kills by Loryn Carter and incredible defensive play by Princess Arden Davis.  South, not one to go easy into the night, rallied for a few late pushes but just did not have enough to overcome the deficit and ended up losing the second set 19-25.  South's 0-2 start set up a battle between LCC and the Regents for first place in the pool.

It was indeed a battle.  Lucy's and LCC started set one strong, trading points until LCC picked up the pace and was able to amass a 15-10 lead.  The Regents found themselves trailing by 7 points before they were able to put the wheels back on the wagon, but they did eventually find their stride.  Eryn Young made a nice mid-set service run, getting the Regents to 15-17 and forcing LCC to take a time out.  Undaunted, and un-iced, Eryn followed the timeout with an ace and eventually the Regents tied the game at 17.  Back and forth it went from there, with ties at 17, 19, 20 and 21.  LCC was able to pull it out in the end and hand the Regents their first loss of the season, 25-23 LCC.

Set 2 was contested start to finish.  Each team would get a one to two point lead here and there, Lucy's doing it behind great serving by Princess Davis and Sydney Bast, and great team play on both sides of the net.  They were tied at 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 18, 20 and 23.  The Regents took a 21-20 lead on a solo block by Roni LaPierre and stretched their advantage to 23-21- which LCC quickly erased.  This time it was the Regents who had a little bit extra in the end and they were able to close out the set on a tip to the front corner by middle Dianna Rohrer.

Set 3, however, was a different story from the previous sets.  LCC looked to be in control of the match from the start and ran up a 20-12 lead.  But those gutty little Regents just don't have quit in them.  They dug down and found the energy to climb back into the set and cut the lead to 6 at 15-21, but that's as far as they got.  LCC took the set 25-16 and the match 2 games to 1.  This loss set the Regent up to play a cross over match against the first place winner of Pool 12, Xavier.

The Regents clearly did not like coming out on the losing end of the LCC match and they took their frustration out on a surprised Xavier team.  The Regents led set 1 from start to finish, with a baffled Xavier team calling time out trailing 2-7 and again trailing 7-13.  Mo Hageman broke the set open with a strong service run that extended the Regent lead to 11 at 18-7.  St. Lucy's took set 1 25-14.

Xavier came out strong in set 2 and took a 4 point lead, which they maintained for a while.  At mid-set, the Regents were finally able to make their move.  The Regents tied the game for the first time at 11 and took their first lead on a service ace by Roni LaPierre to go up 12-11.  Then Princess Davis went to work.  She had been playing lights out all day and capped the night off with an 8 point serving streak that included 2 aces and saw the Regents leading 21-13 before Xavier finally sided out.  The Regents closed out the match when outside hitter Maddie Gilmartin tooled the block to finish set 2 25-15.

The Regents take on Horizon tomorrow morning at 8:30.  The winner of that match will move into the top 8 and compete for the Championship.  Stay tuned volleyball fans.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Saints Sweep the Bearcats!

LaVERNE-  The San Dimas Saints swept the Bonita Bearcats in their cross-town/ intra-district rivalry match, 25-10, 25-19 and 25-20.

The Regents Keep Their Winning Streak Alive

GLENDORA-  The St. Lucy's Regents kept their winning ways alive with another sweep, this time defeating Los Altos 25-20, 25-15, 25-17.  Juliet McClure served up a storm in set one, with 5 service aces in 6 attempts, leading Lucy's to the comfortable win.  Set two was typical Regent fare: winning by an efficient ten-point margin on strong team and defensive play.  Set three saw some standout play by Mo Hageman, with a couple crushing kills and impressive roofs, but also some uncharacteristic defensive errors.  Coach Douglas called time with a 15-14 lead and apparently put the girls back on track as they rallied to a 25-17 finish, relying on more tough serving by McClure and a dual block by Rohrer and Caustrita to close the books.  I did not get the stat leaders, but check your newspaper in the morning because there was a reporter on site.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bonita Tennis Keeps on Rolling

WALNUT-  Bonita Varsity Tennis kept its winning streak going last Thursday when it beat Walnut 10-8.  This is the first time in 9 years that the Bearcats have enjoyed a victory over Walnut!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

St. Lucy's Keeps On Sweeping

RANCHO CUCAMONGA-  The Regents kept the pre-season sweeps going when they took on the Los Osos Grizzlies earlier this evening.  St. Lucy's downed Los Osos 25-18, 25-14, 26-24.

The match started in the same manner as the other pre-season matches, with the ladies of St. Lucy's Priory dictating play.  Midway through the first set, the Regents led by five and stretched that lead to seven before they were through.  Set two went much the same way, with the Regents jumping out to an early lead and never looking back.  They took set two by 11.

However, the young and resilient Grizzlies were not quite ready to throw in the towel.  Los Osos came out ferociously in the third set, and jumped out to an early lead on some tough serving by Ashley Kaylor.  Then the battle began.  The teams traded leads of two to three points and exhibited a very high level of play on both sides of the net.  St. Lucy's Coach Douglas called a time out with his team trailing 20-21, and the Regents came back to even the score.  Then freshman Loryn Clark hammered a shot down the right side to give the Regents a 22-21 lead.  The teams fought back and forth and found themselves tied at 23, at which point the Grizzlies served an ace and gained the opportunity to put the set away.  Lucy's leveled it at 24 with strong defense and went ahead 25-24 on a tip to zone 4 by Marissa Hageman.  Arden Davis made a crucial dig on the next point, Juliet McClure pushed the set to the outside, and Roni LaPierre finished the match with a kill down the line.

The stat leaders for the night were Roni LaPierre with 15 kills and 12 digs, Marissa Hageman with 11 kills, Loryn Carter with 9 kills, Dianna Rohrer with 8 kills, Arden Davis with 14 digs, Eryn Young with 11 digs and 4 aces, and Juliet McClure with 44 assists and 2 aces.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ayala Starts The Season Strong!

CHINO HILLS-  Ayala defeated Glendora in 5 on August 30th in a nail biting match.  After losing the first set 27-25, Ayala bounced back and took set two 25-19.  Glendora, struck again, taking set three 25-20.  Ayala returned the favor, easily defeating the Tartans in set four 25-17.  Both teams battled in set five, with Ayala coming out victorious, defeating Glendora 17-15.

UPLAND-  Ayala traveled to Upland to face the Highlanders on September 4th. The Bulldogs came out strong and won the first set 25-19. Upland regrouped and came back to win set two 25-16. Ayala easily won the next two sets 25-14, 25-14. Ayala will face Corona Santiago at home next Tuesday at 5:30.

Tennis Anyone? Bonita Says Yes!

LA VERNE-  Bonita Varsity Tennis was victorious against Alta Loma High School on Tuesday afternoon at Bonita.  Singles and Doubles contributed 6 victories each resulting in a 12-6 score.  Bonita Tennis is now 5-1 heading into their first league match this Thursday against Walnut.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Regents Tame the Bearcats!

LA VERNE--  The Regents marched into Bonita's beautiful new gym and soundly trounced the outmanned Bearcats!  Both the Frosh/Soph and Junior Varsity teams took their matches in two.  Then came Varsity... for a final sweep of the night, taking the match 25-12, 25-8 and 25-15.

Bonita never really got within striking distance.  They were simply outmatched in every position.  Loryn Carter, Dianna Rohrer and Marissa Hageman put up a block that was just too big for the tough hitting but much smaller Riley Inman.  Coach Douglas utilized some of his very deep bench, giving time to newcomers Rachel Cavanaugh and Desi Villajian, with Cavanaugh ending the second set on an ace serve.  Sydney Bast took a turn at setting in the third set and kept the Regents in the mix.  Ultimately, the usual suspects brought the match to a long hot end!

The stat leaders for the night were Roni LaPierre (9 kills), Vanessa Caustrita (7 kills), Loryn Carter (7 kills, 3 blocks), Dianna Rohrer (6 kills/3 blocks) and Arden Davis (12 digs).