16, 17, 18 Blues kick off SCVA season with wins

The 16 Blue, 17 Blue and 18 Blue teams opened their season by winning their first qualifying rounds of the Southern California Volleyball Association this past weekend.

On Saturday, the 16 Blue team coached by Jake Hong and assisted by Dwayne Hauschild won all three of the matches earning themselves a bye through the second qualifying round of the Gold bracket. They won all their matches in two games beating SG Elite 16-Roshambo, Orange County 16-White and Bakersfield 16-Judy.

According to Jake Hong, “Dwayne and I were very pleased with how our team played in our 1st tournament of the year. Setter Paige Craine did a great job of distributing the ball to all of our hitters. Katy Villanueva did a great job in the middle, and also had a couple of great runs from the service line with her tough serving. We have set up high goals for this team, and this past weekend was a step in the right direction.” 

Also earning a bye by placing 2nd for the day in the Gold bracket was the 16-White team coached by Kayce Matthess and Jamie Garbisch. All their matches went to 3 games, with the team beating San Diego 16-Kara and Reef 16-Brock, and losing a close battle (13-15 in the third) to Orange County 16-Blue.

Kayce said of her team, “…played pretty steady all day, almost bringing down the first seed in our pool. Morgan Riegert was the energizer on the court, while setter Caitlin Sullivan did a good job of spreading the ball out to all of her hitters.” Matthess also noted that Laura Masho had at least 10 aces throughout the day.

The 16-Red team coached by Katherine Hopkins and assisted by Mike Tamalii went 1-2 for the day in the Silver bracket.

Hopkins praised the team, “We improved with each match of the day…The third match of the day the team finally broke through, winning in 2 including rallying back to win another close game with strong serving and teamwork. Kendall Vincent played consistently all day passing and attacking on the outside, while Caroline Colbert’s serving proved instrumental in our comeback win of the day. Bianca Castro is proving her dominance at the net, at one point in a game hitting over a triple block to get the kill.”

Saturday was also Tina Brown’s 12-Blue team final qualifying round where they placed third for the day. They lost their first match, then won the second and third then entered into a tough battle taking the top seed of their pool to 3 games ultimately losing a close one in the 3rd. This places them in Division 3 to start off their regular season on a strong note.

On Sunday, the 17-Blue team coached by John Haroun and assisted by Jordyn Druary won their pool in the Silver Division beating Epic 17-2, Mavericks 18-Corry, Long Beach 17-Runbird. Haroun said of his players, “We had a balanced hitting attack all day, and solid serve receive passing especially with Megan Smith, Jordan Fuller, and Jessie Ditmore, while Rose Lewis did a great job of getting the ball out to all of her hitters.”

Also on Sunday, Liz Towne-Gilbert’s 18-Blue team won their first qualifying round in the gold bracket beating Sport Shack 17-1, Cal Jrs 18-M and Ripcurls 18-Blue. They will have a bye through the second qualifying round. Towne-Gilbert mentioned, “Aly Squires, Caitlin Racich and Carly Wopat played well offensively, while Sammie Brown and Natalie Guerra did a nice job setting the offense.” 

The 18-White team coached by Courtney Preston and assisted by Ken Preston, placed 3rd for the day in the Gold bracket.

Preston said, “We played well, and after losing our first match to SMBC 18-Nabil, we battled against Cal Jrs 17-M and lost match in 3 games (final 13-15). Lost the first game to Reef 18-Joe, but came back and won the 2nd and 3rd games 25-13, 16-14 to win the match. Overall the team played well all day with Kelsey Soos’ serving a critical part to our win against Reef. Sally Yingst hit and passed well with a key kill that tied up the 3rd game against Reef to 14-14. Sarah Mendoza played great defense all day.”

The 13’s, 14’s and 15’s teams (14-Blue & 15-Blue have a bye) along with the 17-Blue and 18-White will play the second of three qualifying rounds this coming weekend.