GLENDORA- St. Lucy's hosted the Notre Dame Knights in tonight's first round CIF action. Don't be tempted to overlook the Knights as an easy first round match because they came into the playoffs as an at-large bid. This team is one to be reckoned with; a fact that the Regents learned first hand. Ultimately, St. Lucy's won the contest in straight sets, but not without surviving a serious scare first. Regents took the match 26-24, 25-14 and 25-18.
The Regents won the coin flip and elected to serve. Sophomore star Zana Muno made the Regents pay immediately, smashing the first two points with authority, and putting St. Lucy's on notice that the Knights came to play. The teams traded points to an 8-8 tie, before Zana Muno went on a serving run. The Regents called time out trailing 8-12, but were not successful in side-tracking Muno. The Knights were leading 14-9 when Muno gave up the serve. St. Lucy's was not doing itself any favors, giving up 4 service errors and falling behind 11-18. After the Regents' second time out, Roni LaPierre's serving run cut the Notre Dame lead to just two, 16-18, and seemed to reenergize the Regents. With the momentum shift, the Lady Regents found their stride and worked to a 23-23 tie. Marissa Hageman's well timed block gave the Regents game point leading 25-24, and a hitting error by the Knights gave St. Lucy's an unlikely victory in set one.
Set two was all Regents. At first it looked as if the service errors were going to continue for the Regents, but Sydney Bast came in and served up an ace and a whole lot of momentum. Notre Dame called time out trailing 3-9. The Regents opened the door to the Knights with rotation violations and unforced errors, but Notre Dame couldn't find a way through. Juliet McClure ended set two for the Regents, 25-14, with an unexpected dump.
Sydney Bast got the Regents going again in set three with an ace serve and the Regents got out to a 7-2 lead by the time Notre Dame sided out Bast's serve. Zana Muno was effective again in this set, literally bouncing balls off of the Regent defenders, but Notre Dame couldn't make a dent in the Regents lead. The teams had a few incredible rallies in the closing points of the set, but Lucy's consistency and team play won the night. Regents won set three 25-18.
The Regents stat leaders were Arden Davis with 25 digs and 1 ace, Sydney Bast with 13 digs and 2 aces, Roni LaPierre with 12 kills and 1 ace, Vanessa Caustrita with 11 kills and Loryn Carter and Marissa Hagemen, each with 6 kills and 2 blocks. The Regents will face Westlake on Thursday, November 8, location to be determined.
Sadly, the other Sierra League teams did not fare as well this evening. Ayala fell in 4 sets to Canyon, Claremont fell in 3 to Redlands East Valley, and Chino Hills gave Laguna Beach a fight, but ultimately lost in 5.