GVB: Owls, Cardinals win titles at Laguna tourney

The local teams took top honors in Saturday’s 24-team Laguna Blanca girls volleyball tournament.

Laguna Blanca captured the Gold Division championship with a win over Santa Ynez in the final, while the  Silver Division was won by Bishop Diego over Holy Martyrs. The Cardinals’ 25-23 victory avenged an earlier defeat in pool play.

“Our seniors stepped up in the final,” first-year coach John Sener said. “Francesca Engel, Summer Soto, Isabella Gregson and Celeste Cardenas all played exceptionally in the last two matches.”

Bishop Diego rolled past Santa Paula in the semifinals, 25-15.

Drew of San Francisco defeated Providence in the Silver consolation final.

In the championship match on its home floor, Bishop started  two freshman (Talia Medel and Lauren Holsted),  a sophomore (Tiana Molony) and one junior (Evie Coronado).

“We are young and learning as we go,” Sener said. “This is a great start to our season.”

Laguna Blanca (5-0) went undefeated on the day at the Ben Page Center, sweeping Grace Brethren, Cabrillo and Santa Clarita Christian in pool play and beating Palm Springs in the semis and Santa Ynez in the final.

Senior setter/outside hitter Phoebe Madsen was named the Gold Division MVP and sophomore Caylin Zimmerman earned all-tournament team honors.

“We also got great play from defensive specialist Sophia Fay, particularly in the finals, where, after a slow start by our team, she got on a great service run to shift the momentum back in our favor,” said Donnelly.

“Our team continues to improve, and we played really well today,” he added. “We were tested, particularly in the playoffs, and responded well to each and every challenge.”

The Owls will play in the Dave Mohs tournament next weekend in Orange County.

“I’m looking forward to see how we stack up against some really good schools,” said Donnelly.


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