REDONDO BEACH- The Regents earned a berth in the Gold Bracket of the Redondo Varsity Classic by winning pool 1, 3-0. The Regents beat Ventura and Rio Mesa, each in two sets, took three sets to beat Bishop Montgomery, and finished Day One three and O.
Ventura was never really in it. They struggled with serve receive, struggled with passing, struggled with serving, and struggled with hitting. St. Lucy's capitalized on Ventura's difficulties and cruised to an easy victory, 25-10 and 25-17.
The Rio Mesa match started out similarly to the Ventura match. Set one was never really contested. The Regents finished off Rio Mesa in short order, 25-17 in set one. Set two was more of a match, at least until the midway point. But even when Rio Mesa had an early four point lead, it felt as if St. Lucy's was in control. Evidently, they were. St. Lucy's took care of Rio Mesa in set two 25-19.
The Regent's were tested in their final match of the day by Bishop Montgomery. Bria Green led her team, putting the ball away on the regular. Eventually, St. Lucy's balanced attacking got the Regents a little breathing room and a 4 point lead, 19-15. After an effective timeout, Bishop Montgomery tied it up and even had an opportunity to take the set, serving at 24-23. The Regents buckled down, Loryn Carter put one down hard, and the Regents took set one, 26-24.
Set two belonged to Bishop Montgomery. They led from start to finish and seemed to have taken the fight out of the Regents. They ran away with set two, 25-16. The Regents did, however, have some fight left, and they found it in set three. St. Lucy's took the early lead, 6-3, and Bishop Montgomery took a time out in response. They came out of the timeout on fire and went on a tear, taking the next 7 points and seemingly also taking control of the match. Again, Bishop Montgomery had the match in hand, serving with a 14-12 lead. The Regents dug in with smart shot making by Roni LaPIerre and clutch hustling defense by Sydney Bast and battled to an exhausting victory 17-15.
The Regents take on Buena in the Gold Bracket tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. at Redondo Union.