Some year not too long in the future, Lance Stewart would like his girls’ teams at the 900-square-foot Volleyball Club to be competing at the Junior Olympics in early July.
But the club is just finishing its first year in existence. With that in mind, Stewart, the boys’ and girls’ volleyball coach at Laguna Beach High, had to be happy with the teams’ placements last week at the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix.
Stewart’s 16 girls’ team finished tied for 15th, compiling a 6-7 record. The 14 girls’ team did even better, going 13th and with a 9-4 record.
The 12 girls’ team finished 24th at the Volleyball Festival, the nation’s largest girls’ tournament.
“It was obviously our first year as a club," Stewart said. “It was a good year for us. At times, we were right there."
The 16 girls, which featured Laguna Beach’s Lauren Capobianco, Taylor Dorse, Lauren Hampton, Natalie Redwitz and Chanel Stewart, also finished the club season ranked 35th out of 240 teams in the Southern California Volleyball Assn.
The 14 girls included Laguna’s Sevana Dvorak, Cheyenne Eisert, Julia Goggan, Marissa Greenough, Amanda Kimball and Maggie Renner. Stewart said the team, coached by Mary Luhrs, was a game away from finishing in the top 10 at the Volleyball Festival. They battled but fell at the end in a Round 6 gold bracket game against a team from Bakersfield-based Jamba, 25-18, 24-26, 15-12.
“They had a fantastic season," Stewart said. “They really improved from start to finish. It’s real exciting because a lot of those girls will be coming to Laguna Beach High."
The 12s girls’ team, coached by Paula Austin, included Laguna’s Emilie Austin, Natalie Belyea, Brooke Borges, Brianna Boyd, Bryana Corlett, Jordan Buron, Kendal Clawson, Sabrina Stillwell, Chloe Jackson and Mary Kate Quellmalz.