Oden Leads Irvine’s Girls to Orange County Title
Bev Oden led Irvine High School’s girls to a 15-7, 15-10 victory over Laguna Beach to win the title match of the Orange County Volleyball tournament Saturday at Westminster High.
Oden, a 6-foot 1-inch senior who is a two-time high school All-American, had 15 kills in the final and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
“Bev is the best offensive player around,” Irvine Coach Mark McKenzie said. “If we need to get the ball, we use her.”
Irvine easily took the first game, but in the second, Laguna Beach rallied from an eight-point deficit with five consecutive points with the help of junior Laura Candelaria’s two aces. The Vaqueros regained control and put the match away quickly.
Irvine reached the final of the 32-team tournament with a 15-12, 15-12 semifinal victory Saturday against Corona del Mar. Laguna Beach edged Mater Dei, 15-8, 14-16, 15-11, in the other semifinal.
“I thought we played better against Corona del Mar,” said McKenzie, who was named coach of the tournament. “We opened with a big lead (against Laguna Beach) and then went flat, but we got tight at the end.”
Irvine (2-0 outside tournament matches and currently the nation’s top-ranked high school team) cruised to the final without losing a game.
Irvine’s Melinda Norton joined Oden on the all--tournament team, along with Laguna Beach’s Sara Nelson and Sommer Sieg.
In the Fullerton Tournament:
Fullerton 3, Cypress 1--Jana Nelson had 8 kills to lead Fullerton (5-2) past Cypress, 3-15, 16-14, 15-8, 15-3, to win the championship at Fullerton High.