Southland beach communities annually produce some of the state's strongest girls' volleyball teams, and this year is no different.
Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach and Manhattan Beach Mira Costa are ranked 1-2-3 in this week's Division I-AA Southern Section poll.
The best team in the Southland, however, might be Cerritos Valley Christian, the defending Division IV state titlist.
Valley Christian made its presence felt by defeating Newport Harbor, 12-15, 15-12, 15-11, in the final of the Dave Mohs Memorial volleyball championship Monday at Huntington Beach Edison.
Valley Christian middle blocker Stacy Rouwenhorst, a 6-foot-2 senior, had 20 kills for the Crusaders, who also got outstanding play from 6-2 middle blocker Jennifer Fopma and 6-1 outside hitter Susie Boogaard.
Loyola's football team will play Crenshaw in an intersectional game Saturday night at Glendale High.
"We don't have a rivalry, but we certainly know of each other's programs," Loyola Coach Steve Grady said of the schools, which are separated by only a few miles.
Loyola is 2-0 after victories over Pasadena and Manhattan Beach Mira Costa. Crenshaw (1-1) defeated Manual Arts and lost to two-time City Section 4-A finalist Woodland Hills Taft.
About 100 schools are expected to take part in the 25th annual Bellarmine-Jefferson cross-country invitational Saturday at Griffith Park.
The Long Beach Poly boys' team, the defending Division I state champion, is among the teams that will compete in 19 races over the park's 2.8-mile Greek Theatre course.
Lauren Fleshman, a senior at Canyon Country Canyon, is coming off a course-record performance at the Woodbridge Invitational in Orange County. She is expected to challenge the Griffith Park course record of 16 minutes 32 seconds set by Tania Fisher of West Hills Chaminade in 1982.
The boys' Division I race begins at 9:05 a.m., the girls' at 9:45.