Teams could meet again in playoffs
A much-anticipated rematch between the Torrey Pines and La Costa Canyon girls volleyball team lived up to its hype. Before a standing room only crowd at the Torrey Pines gym on Nov. 6, the Lady Mavericks, ranked number one in the nation by one prep sports publication edged the Lady Falcons 3-0, by the scores of 25-21, 25-23, and 32-30.
Playing on their home court Oct. 21, the Lady Mavericks (29-1, 10-0) beat the Lady Falcons (19-8, 8-2) by a 3-1 margin with three of the games decided by four points or less. The last six games between the teams could have gone either way.
"This indicates how close we are to them," said Lady Falcons Head Coach Jim Harrah. "They have not been number one in the nation all year for any other reason - they're good. But our goal is to win the CIF. We had a few game points on them, but couldn't finish. They passed the ball better than us. We will see them in the playoffs and I hope the third time is the charm."
With the win, La Costa Canyon not only won the Avocado League title, but will go into the playoffs seeded No.1 and will be seeking their fifth straight CIF Div. 1 San Diego Championship. Most likely Torrey Pines will be seeded No. 2 and get another shot at their rival.
At the start of last Thursday's game the huge crowd was already rocking from earlier freshman and JV matches. LCC supporters were numerous including the famous "Noisz Boyz" cheering squad. Torrey Pines had a huge crowd including their football team that came after their practice supporting the girls by wearing their football jerseys.
What followed was one of the best volleyball matches of the season.
Game one saw seven ties and eight lead changes, as the Lady Falcons started off 3-0 via Jenny Woolway's three-straight service points including two aces. LCC stormed back with two monster kills by Lydia Rudnick and USC-bound Katie Fuller.
With Torrey Pines down 14-10, Lady Falcon Whitney Wilkerson served five straight points. Coupled with strong net blocks by Katie Dutchman and Alyse Hensley, they shot to a 15-14 lead. Fuller served four straight though, giving the Lady Mavericks the lead at 20-17. Game point came when a Torrey Pines ball went into the net.
ame two had six ties and seven lead changes as Torrey Pines again took an early lead 3-1 via Alexa Armstrong's kill. The game went back and forth with the Lady Mavericks seemingly ready to close it out at 23-18, but, Lady Falcon Lacey Fuller reeled off two straight ace serves and then two more serves with another ace, closing the gap to 24-23. But, Katie Fuller's game point kill won it for LCC.
Game three was a nail-biter. There were 10 ties and 11 lead changes, but the real excitement started when Torrey Pines went up 20-17, but couldn't seal the deal.
During the third game, La Costa Canyon's Natalie Hagglund, last season's Div. 1 Player of the Year, was suffering from leg cramps. That concerned LCC's coach Pat McDougal.
"I felt like if we would have lost the third game, we would have lost the match," said McDougal. "I'd already made my lineup for a fourth game without Natalie."
But the Lady Mavericks' closed the gap with a Hagglund kill and a Kendall Polan service ace to pull within one. Then the match went back-and-forth with neither team gaining a clear advantage.
At 30-30, LCC finally closed it out, with game and match point coming on a Natalie Loos kill, 32-30.
"My adrenaline was shaking the whole last game," Loos said. "It is always more fun to come into their gym and beat them."