BURBANK— Jocelyn Cervantes has been a driving force in the Santa Cruz League for three seasons.
However, although she paced the Guards to two league championships in 2008 and 2009 during her freshman and sophomore campaigns, the player-of-the-year award eluded her.
That changed this season, as the junior outside hitter was named the Santa Cruz Player of the Year after pacing the Guards to their fifth-straight league title.
Cervantes — who has made a name for herself with her powerful kills and deceptive serve — put up monster numbers for Bell-Jeff. Along with 317 kills and a 52% kill percentage, she also had 44 aces, 22 blocks, 165 digs and 30 assists.
“I think Jocelyn has had stats good enough to win MVP in our league the past two years,” Bell-Jeff Coach Miguel Segura said. “But we have a lot of good players on our team, and it wasn’t just Jocelyn who put up good stats for us.
“But this is something she deserves. She was easily the best player in our league this season.”
In her three year-career at Bell-Jeff, Cervantes, who was an All-CIF Southern Section Selection in 2009, has 731 kills and 166 aces.
“Jocelyn knew if we need a big kill that we were coming to her,” Segura said. “She really stepped up this season.”
Guards also making the first team were sophomore outside hitter Taryn Nelson and junior setter-libero Breanna Pardon. Nelson had 169 kills, a 42% kill percentage, 57 aces, and 103 digs and Pardon had 68 kills, a 55% kill percentage, 38 aces, 123 digs and 275 assists.
Behind its top-three players, Bell-Jeff (17-7) advanced to the Division IVAA semifinals, losing to No. 1 Hemet, 25-16, 25-11, 25-14.
The other three area programs — Burbank, Burroughs and Providence — all made the postseason as well. The three teams had their share of all-league award-winners.
The Indians had five players who were named to the All-Pacific League team.
Earning first-team accolades were junior middle blocker Megan Stephenson and setter Catarina Emerson. Stephenson averaged 15 kills a match during league play and Emerson averaged 18 assists in league.
Making the second team was senior middle blocker Kathy Henry (10 kills a match) and junior libero Victoria Santos (18 digs a match).
Senior outside hitter Amanda Hernandez was an honorable-mention pick.
The Indians (16-6) placed second in the Pacific League behind champion Arcadia. Burroughs advanced to the second round of the Division IIA playoffs, losing to Diamond Bar, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23.
Burbank had four of its players named to the all-league list, including senior first-teamers Sarah Tubert, a setter, and Danielle Reid, an outside hitter. Tubert had 281 assists to go along with 107 digs, 61 kills, 30 blocks and 23 aces and Reid had 105 kills, 237 digs and 35 aces.
Making the second team for Burbank was senior opposite Jessica Murphy, who had 110 kills, 122 digs and 21 aces.
Junior middle blocker Nia Treadwell (76 kills and 39 blocks) was an honorable-mention pick.
The Bulldogs (14-5) finished third in the Pacific League.
Providence (8-12) placed third in the Liberty League.
The Pioneers had two all-league selections in sophomore setter Janel Adraneda and senior outside hitter Cali Polanco.