Tologs reign supreme

This is the eighth and final edition in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2010-11 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.

The biggest story of the 2010-11 school year for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy was the biggest story in the area at large — the wildly successful campaign enjoyed by the soccer team.

A return to the top of the Mission League and a first-ever CIF Southern Section Division I championship made the Tologs the top local team across all sports, but there were other highlights for Sacred Heart throughout the year.

The cross-country team enjoyed its best-ever finish at the CIF State Meet, taking third, the basketball team made an impressive run to the Division 5-AA playoffs and the volleyball team once again made an appearance in the Division I postseason after placing second in the tough Mission League.

Here are those highlights relived, along with all the other happenings fit to print from the year that was for the Tologs:

Sept. 9, 2010 — Behind 21 kills and 12 digs from Camille Coffey, the volleyball team gets its first win of the season, 3-1, over Upland at home.

Sept. 26, 2010 — Katie Williams finishes with a nine-over-par 45 for the golf team in a 267-280 Mission League win over Louisville at Eaton Canyon Golf Course.

Sept. 28, 2010 — The volleyball team falls to 5-5 on the year with a 3-0 home loss to crosstown rival La Cañada.

"Regardless of whether you're home or away, it's always nerve wracking to play a large rival," first-year Sacred Heart Coach Anne Arlie said.

Oct. 7, 2010 — With a 3-2 home win over Louisville, the volleyball team picks up its first Mission League win.

Oct. 23, 2010 — The cross-country team tests itself in the Division IV Sweepstakes at the Mount San Antonio College Cross-County Invitational and comes away with a ninth-place finish. Paulina Antaplyan leads the pack in 18th place in 19 minutes 21 seconds.

"It was a really fast race," Tologs Coach Kirk Nishiyama said. "I think we ran well. ...Our top three ran well and I was pleased with their outcome."

Oct. 28, 2010 — With nine kills from Coffey and five aces from Alessandra Orlandini, the volleyball team defeats Alemany, 3-0, to win its fourth straight league match and improve to 6-2 in league.

Nov. 3, 2010 — A Mission League match against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame concludes the tennis team's season at 3-8-1 and 2-6 in league for fourth place.

Nov. 9, 2010 — After finishing 7-3 in league for second place, the volleyball team (15-13) is eliminated in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs by visiting Edison, 25-15, 25-20, 25-22, despite 12 kills and 12 digs from Coffey, who is later named All-Area Girls' Volleyball Player of the Year.

Nov. 13, 2010 — Led by Antaplyan's ninth-place finish in 20:02, the cross-country team qualifies for the CIF Southern Section Cross-Country Championships by finishing third in its Division IV heat at the CIF Southern Section Cross-Country preliminaries at Mount San Antonio College.

Nov. 20, 2010 — Running on Mount San Antonio College's reconfigured rain course, the cross-country team finishes third in Division IV at the CIF Southern Section Cross-Country Championships to qualify for the CIF State Meet.

"I really liked [the course] and I thought it was just a really fun race," said Antaplyan after taking 15th in 19:51.

Nov. 27, 2010 — The cross-country team runs to its best-ever finish at state, taking third place in Division IV at Woodward Park in Fresno behind a 14th-place finish in 19:03 from Antaplyan.

Riley Gilmartin finishes 31st for Sacred Heart in 19:35, followed by Stephanie Vargas (61st, 20:06), Nora Welsh (80th, 20:24) and Casey Basso (89th, 20:29).

"We were thrilled, obviously," said Nishiyama, whose team finishes ahead of archrival and Mission League champion Harvard-Westlake. "That's the first time we've ever been on the [medal] stand, so we're really happy."

Dec. 2, 2010 — Vanessa Romero scores 19 points to lead the basketball team to its first win, 57-39, over Jordan in the San Marino Tournament.

Dec. 8, 2010 — Chasing the ambitious goal of securing the triple crown of Mission League, CIF Sectional and CIF Regional championships, the soccer team opens its season with a 4-0 nonleague win over host Maranatha.

The Tologs would go on to win their first eight games of the season and didn't suffer their first loss until their 14th game on Jan. 24.

Jan. 11, 2011 — The basketball team picks up its first Mission League win, 59-38, over Louisville at home. Romero leads the way with 19 points.

Jan. 25 — The water polo team is handed an 18-0 Mission League loss by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on the road. The struggles would continue for the Tologs, who go on to finish the season 0-13-1 and 0-10 in league.

Feb. 4 — Katie Johnson scores three goals in a 5-1 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame that wraps up at least a share of the Mission League championship.

"It was our most consistent effort in a while," Tologs Coach Frank Pace said. "This was probably our best 80 minutes of soccer."

Sacred Heart would clinch the league title outright three days later with a 2-1 win over Chaminade.

Feb. 8 — Romero surpasses the career 1,000-point mark with a 12-point effort in a 71-38 road league loss to Harvard-Westlake.

Feb. 17 — Opening the Division 5-AA playoffs as the No. 8 seed, the basketball team rolls over Alverno, 57-32, in the first round behind 24 points and 14 boards from Lana Haddad.

"We're so used to playing big and aggressive teams like Harvard-Westlake and Chaminade [in the Mission League], that this game was a little easier for us," Haddad said.

The soccer team also opens its Division I playoff run with a 5-1 win over Foothill, in which five different players score.

Feb. 19 — A 51-point first half sets the pace for the basketball team's 77-50 victory over Workman in the second round of the Division 5-AA playoffs. Haddad has another big game with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

"She's been doing it for us all season," Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Gino Pacella said. "Tonight is a classic example of what she can do."

Feb. 22 — Goalkeeper Lindsey Espe comes off the bench to stop three penalty kicks in a shootout to decide a 0-0 (4-3) win over Aliso Niguel in the second round of the Division I soccer playoffs.

"I honestly don't even know what to say, that was an incredible feeling," Espe said.

Feb. 23 — Up against top-seeded St. Bernard, the basketball team's season comes to an end with a 65-33 loss in the quarterfinals of the Division 5-AA playoffs.

Romero scores a team-high 18 points in her final high school game.

Feb. 24 — Johnson, Breeana Koemans and Sarah Teegarden all score goals en route to a 3-1 home win over Tesoro in the quarterfinals of the Division I soccer playoffs.

The match was supposed to be played at Tesoro, but due to a CIF infraction, the Tologs were awarded the game. It is the third consecutive opponent from Orange County that Sacred Heart plays and their next two in the Division I tournament will also be Orange County foes.

March 1 — Alyssa Conti comes through with a sudden-death overtime goal to lift the soccer team to a 1-0 win over host Esperanza in the semifinals of the Division I playoffs and into the first CIF Southern Section final in program lore.

"She's one of the best finishers on the team," Koemans said of Conti. "I knew she was gonna make it."

Koemans assists on the goal, while Espe tallies a shutout in net, one made possible by defender Natalie Zeenni — who would eventually be named All-Area Girls' Soccer Player of the Year for the second straight time and News-Press Female Athlete of the Year — making a dramatic save on the backline of a potential own goal.

March 4 — At the end of another 1-0 defensive thriller, the soccer team is the last team left standing in CIF Southern Section Division I after defeating San Clemente in the championship match at Mission Viejo High.

Krista Meaglia plays the hero with a goal in the 68th minute, backed by a stellar team defensive showing against a San Clemente team that was the No. 1 seed and had dominated the run of play in the first half.

"I don't think words can describe it," said Meaglia, who scored off an assist from Johnson. "I just saw the opportunity, I just shot it."

Zeenni once again comes up clutch, saving two balls along the backline, while Espe records her second straight playoff shutout with seven saves. Also playing a large role is the play of Alexis Montgomery, Kaitlin Almeida, Zeenni and Tera Trujilo on defense. Trujillo shows just how valuable her versatility can be, as usual starter Kayla Mills is injured and Trujillo moves back from the midfield to defense.

"Amazing," Johnson said. "This is one of the best days ever."

The softball team opens its season with a 6-4 nonleague home win over San Gabriel Mission. Paige Conti goes one for three with two runs batted in.

March 8 — The soccer team begins its run in the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championships tournament with a 6-1 opening-round win over Horizon Christian Academy.

Katie Johnson and Savannah Viola each score a pair of goals for the top-seeded Tologs.

March 10 — Koemans scores two goals to lead the soccer team to a 3-0 shutout of St. Margaret's in the semifinals of the regional tournament.

March 12 — Oaks Christian stuns the soccer team in the championship game of the regional tournament, 3-1, ending the team's remarkable season at 23-2-1.

"If at the beginning of the season, somebody came up to me and said, 'You're gonna win Mission League and you're gonna win CIF Division I, but you have to come in second in the regionals,' [so-Coach] Kathy [Desmond] and I would have said where do we sign up," Pace said. "I'll take that result."

The team is playing without four regular starters at the match's start and also loses Johnson to a serious knee injury in the first half.

March 30 — The swimming team picks up its first win of the Mission League season, 113-61, over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Katie Altmayer wins two events and picks up a pair of CIF consideration times in the process.

April 6 — The track and field team improves to 4-1 in the Mission League with a 73-34 dual-meet win over Chaminade at St. Francis High in which two school records are broken.

Stephanie Vargas sets a new mark in the 800 meters and teams with Noelle Niëderhaus, Daelyn Moon and Drew Washington to break the school record in the 4x100 relay.

April 9 — Another school track record falls, as Vargas, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Amanda Aguilar and Rebecca Armstrong run the 4x800 in 9:52.19 at the Arcadia Invitational.

"Overall, I'm happy with the way the girls performed today," Coach Mario Aguilar said. "I'm excited because we beat our school record and that was the goal this year, to put together a 4x800 team that could really significantly lower the school record [of 10:10]."

April 12 — Altmayer and Meg Ryan double and the swimming team wins seven out of 11 events, but still loses a Mission League meet to Alemany, 89-81, ending its hopes of defending its Mission League title.

The Tologs go on to finish third in league.

May 3 — An offensive explosion sparks the softball team to an 11-4 Mission League win over Louisville on the road.

Molly Zwart leads the charge with a three-for-four day at the plate with three RBIs and a triple and Torres drives in another two while scoring twice.

The team goes on to finish 9-15 and 7-13 in league for fifth place.

May 5 — Altmayer wins a league title in the 200-yard freestyle and Emily Balog does the same in the 100 breaststroke at the Mission League swimming finals at L.A. Valley College.

The duo also combines with Ryan and Eva Dulcich to win the 200-medley relay.

In track and field at the Mission League finals, Flintridge Sacred Heart has two second-place finishes at L.A. Valley College. Stephanie Vargas clocks 57.74 in the 400 and works with Drew Washington, Rebecca Armstrong and Daelyn Moon to place second in the 4x400 relay (4:01.10).

May 14 — Flintridge Sacred Heart's track and field team fares well at the Division IV prelims at Carpinteria High. The Tologs start their day in style with Stephanie Vargas, Noelle Niëderhaus, Daelyn Moon and Drew Washington setting a school record in the 4x100-meter relay in 49.85 seconds for an overall finish of seventh place. Vargas wins her heat in the 400-meter race with the fifth-fastest time of 58.35 seconds. Washington places eighth overall in the 400 (59.73). Freshman Rebecca Armstrong clocks 2 minutes 25.06 seconds to take ninth overall in the 800.

"That started the day off real well setting the school record," Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Mario Aguilar said. "Everybody, in all of our events, ran to their potential and we are moving on as a group."

May 21 — At the CIF Southern Section Track and Field Divisional Championships at Cerritos College, Vargas, Niëderhaus, Washington and Moon finish seventh in the Division IV heat (50.58) of the 4x100 relay. Washington also takes eighth in the Division IV 400 (60.36) and Armstrong finishes ninth in the Division IV 800 (2:27.37).

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