GVB: Owls, Rams play for spots in CIF finals

Laguna Blanca will be looking to return to the CIF girls volleyball finals for first time since 2013 when it takes on L.A. Archer in a Division 4AA semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m. Merovick Gym.

In the 4A Division, Cate plays at Summit in Fontana for a spot in Saturday’s final. The Rams beat Summit in last year’s semifinals en route to the championship.

Laguna Blanca seniors Phoebe Madsen and Dani Abrams were sophomores on that 2013 team that lost to Pacifica Christian in the final. They are the leaders on this year’s 21-7 squad that reached the semifinals with a four-set win over Shadow Hills of Indio.

Archer, an all-girls school in the Brentwood area of L.A., advanced with an upset of top-seeded La Reina in three sets. It was the biggest win in program history. The Panthers (22-5) are led by a Division 1 recruit, outside hitter Christian Luhnow. The Lafayette commit had 21 kills in the sweep over La Reina.

This is Archer’s second semifinal appearance in its 20-year history. The school lost in the 5AA semis in 2011.

Laguna Blanca is seeking its third trip to the CIF Final in seven years. The Owls advanced in 2009 and 2013 under Jim Alzina.

Coach Jason Donnelly, who returned to the helm this season, took the Owls to five finals in his 10 years as coach and won the CIF title in 2006.

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