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Monday, November 21, 2011
Inside the FAB 50: California heats up


Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos celebrates its CIF Southern Section D-IAA championship.
By Kirstin Olsen

No. 20 Marymount (Los Angeles, Calif.) won its second consecutive CIF Southern Section Division I-A championship this weekend in an exciting match over a very young and talented No. 24 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.) 27-25, 22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12.

Manon Greskovics-Fuller led Marymount with 23 kills, and freshman Hayley Hodson led the Sea Kings with 20 kills. CdM struggled with its passing in Game 4, which ultimately cost them the match. Marymount’s Fuller and freshman Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani stepped up their games, and libero Tori Shpherd provided some tough serving.

No. 7 Los Alamitos won the CIF SS D-IIA final this weekend over No. 25 Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.) 25-17, 26-24, 25-23 for its first CIF SS title since 2005.

The Los Al fans were in full force in a sea of red cheering on the Griffins, who dominated the first game. Both teams played amazing defense, but the Griffins overpowered with an array of offensive weapons. Outside hitters Jojo Schnabl (14 kills) and Alijah Gunsaulus (12 kills) led the way, and opposite Jaylen Villanueva (8 kills) and middle Crissy Jones (10 kills) also starred. Cinnamon Sary of Newport Harbor led her team with 13 kills.

Misty May-Treanor was in attendance, rooting for her alma mater, Newport Harbor, and Kerri Walsh was doing commentary for a regional TV broadcast.

No. 48 La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) won its eighth consecutive championship this past weekend in the CIF San Diego Section D-II final over Bonita Vista (Chula Vista, Calif.) 25-14, 22-25, 25-20, 25-16.

The Mavericks, who won seven consecutive Division I finals, are a newcomer to D-II because of enrollment adjustments. The Mavericks struggled passing, but with six players 6-feet plus they were still able to put balls away. Junior Jordan Robbins led with 11 kills, sophomore Brittany Abercrombie had 10 kills and junior Sydney Francis had 23 digs.

No. 50 Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.) swept Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, Calif.) 25-21, 25-14, 25-10 in the CIF San Diego Section D-I final. Senior setter/hitter Gigi Cresto did a great job in both roles and had 15 assists. Libero Karly Drolson had 15 digs.

For the second year in a row, St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.) took down Presentation (San Jose, Calif.) in the CIF Central Section D-II finals. No. 5 Presentation had beaten unranked St. Francis four times previously this season, but fell 14-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-20, 15-12 when it mattered most.

St. Francis got 42 assists from Taylor Formico. Presentation was led by outside hitter and Duke commit Emily Sklar, who had 19 kills. The rivals are likely to meet again in the Northern California regional championship game.

No. 14 Palo Alto took down unranked Menlo-Atherton 25-19, 25-19, 25-14 in the CIF Central Coast Section D-I final. Senior middle blocker Melanie Wade had 21 kills, setter Kimmy Whitson had 32 assists and outside hitter Maddie Kuppe had 16 digs.

The CIF D-I state final could be a great match if seeds hold for Los Al and Palo Alto.