Owls outlast Earwigs for Condor title

The big football matchups weren’t the only rivalry games going on Friday night.

There was also one going down in Hope Ranch, as the No. 5 Laguna Blanca Owls dumped the Dunn Earwigs 20-25, 25-10, 22-25, 25-15, 15-7 in front of a packed house to claim the Condor League girls volleyball title.

Dunn brought a healthy contingent down from Los Olivos, and some Earwig fans decided to use their body paint to give Laguna’s Merovick Gym a touch-up, smearing black and orange on the outside of the Owls’ nest.

“I definitely want to thank the ‘Laguna Lunatics’ for their support tonight,” said first-year head coach Jim Alzina of the home fans. “I think we outclassed Dunn’s fans.”

Laguna’s football players even grabbed some soap and water to clean up the Earwigs’ makeshift mural before going home.

“We had more class than a double-major valedictorian at Harvard,” said Alzina.

Jackie Harvey put away 20 kills and Katie Borden added 14 for the victors, who have their eyes on a third consecutive trip to the CIF title game. The Owls finish the regular season at 15-2, 8-0, with their only two losses being against Dos Pueblos and San Marcos.

“It means a lot because now they’re not going to hang me in Hope Ranch,” joked Alzina, who took over the program after longtime coach Jason Donnelly left to take a gig at Rutgers University last season.

“All I could do this year was screw up, so I just let the girls play and tried not to over-coach. I just wanted to emphasize ball control like Jason always did and let things happen.”

Alzina said that the Owls’ ball control was on target in the three sets they won, but was shaky in the first and third games.

“After the third game I was madder than Ted Underhill,” he said.

See the 1985 Chevy Chase classic “Fletch” to understand that one.

Jen Murphy led the defensive effort with eight digs and excellent passing, while Jessie Ditmore added five blocks with 10 kills.

The Owls will open CIF competition on Tuesday.

(Photos provided by Michael Ditmore)