GVB: Cate KOs Owls, falls to Viewpoint in Laguna Invite final

The  Cate girls volleyball team finished second in the gold division of the Laguna Blanca Invitational.

The Cate girls volleyball team finished second in the gold division of the Laguna Blanca Invitational.

Viewpoint School held off Cate by a score of 25-22 on Saturday at the Page Youth Center, winning the Gold Division of the Laguna Blanca Invitational girls volleyball tournament.

Cate, ranked 8th in Division 4-A, made it to the finals thanks to an upset win over rival Laguna Blanca in the championship bracket semi finals. The second-ranked tournament hosts were as high entering the morning action, having swept Bishop Diego at home the night before.

“We were undefeated in pool play, but I watched Cate right before they played us. They made a huge comeback against St. Bonaventure and played great defense,” said Laguna Blanca coach Jim Alzina.

The Rams followed the comeback win with a 25-23 win over Laguna to make the finals of the championship bracket.

Peyton Shelburne was stellar in the back row with her defense, which was key to the success of the day, said coach Greg Novak.

The coach lauded the improving play of freshman Delaney Mayfield.

?She is still learning her role and continues to get better every day. Delaney got us some big points along the way.?

He added: ?Though we lost the final, the day was a huge success.?

It was a tough loss for Laguna.

“This was a bit of a disappointment for us. You don’t want to lose a game like that when you’re ranked second in CIF, but now there’s a rivalry back in the Condor League that will boost our kids’ motivation,” said Alzina, who highlighted the play of Grace Woolf, Clara Madsen and Chloe Richman.

Bishop Diego made it to the finals of the Gold Division consolation bracket before falling to league foe Malibu. The Cardinals had a tough pool which included both Viewpoint and Cate.

“We had some flashes but we are an incomplete team right now,” said coach Jason Donnelly. “We have Carp on Tuesday, so if that doesn’t get our kids excited I don’t know what will.”

Donnelly said that Amara Parris and Sam Gaasch continued to improve as they compete at the setter position.

Santa Paula took down top-seeded Grace Brethren in the first round of the Silver Division winners bracket and proceeded to storm to the championship, finishing with a thrilling 25-22 win over Faith Baptist.

“It was an awesome feeling to beat Grace Brethren, because they have always beaten us in the past and we took them down when it mattered,” said Santa Paula senior Kayla Stockton. “The final match had our adrenaline running, and our hard work paid off.”

An intriguing storyline played out in the Silver Division consolation bracket, where the junior varsity teams for both Bishop Diego and Laguna Blanca battled through varsity competition to make it to the finals. Less than 24 hours before, the JV Cardinals had taken down the JV Owls at Merovick Gym in a nail-biting showdown.

The Cardinals made it less climactic on Saturday, downing the Owls 25-13 for the consolation title.

“It was tough, because we beat them just barely last night and we knew they wanted a rematch,” said Bishop Diego’s Summer Soto. “We were really pumped to get back out there and show them what we’re made of.”

Laguna Blanca’s JV team left satisfied with a solid run in varsity tournament, but hungry for another crack at the Cardinals.

“We want another match against them really badly,” said libero Kimberly Crickette.