The Sowers Middle School eighth-grade girls’ volleyball team began its playoff run in the Newport-Mesa Athletic League last week with a second-place seeding in the tournament. They finished their regular season with a 6-1 record, having lost to defending-champion Dwyer.
Not to be deterred, these underdogs never gave up and put on an inspiring performance that eventually led to its championship win against Dwyer.
The girls booked their trip to the finals with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Corona del Mar in the semifinals. After starting slow and dropping the first game, the girls came back with a vengeance, led by the stopping and blocking power of Kendra Koelsch. Combined with the firepower of Rayna Walker’s lightning strike kills, the Vikings took the second game and never looked back.
In the third and final game, Kerry Doran started it off with three blistering aces and with the help of setter Taylor Herbel, the Vikings won, 15-4.
After having lost three times to Dwyer, including at last year’s finals, the Vikings had a tall task against a confident Junior Oiler squad in the finals. Not to be intimidated and having learned from their earlier match ups, Katie Lespier and Samantha Goodman dominated up front, pounding down several kills against a much taller Oiler squad.
Led by Whitney Hirst, the Vikings took the first game, 25-20. After falling behind, 10-3, in the second game, Lauren Gooch and Hannah Mustafaas brought Sowers roaring back, eventually winning 25-22.
“It’s been unbelievable working with a team of such talent,” Coach Katie Pearce said. “Not only are they great volleyball players, but they’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with.”
HB United finishes strong: The Huntington Beach United girls’ soccer team completed a successful All-Star season, going 7-0 in the Area K tournament. The U-12 girls’ team from Region 55 was led by Hannah Daye and the defense of goalkeeper Addie Peterman, who gave up three goals in eight matches.
H.B. United lost in the championship game, 1-0, against Region 117 to finish in second place.
The team also included Savi Chenevert, Nicole Conroy, Cassie Kirkconnell, Madison Koble, Senna Lottes, Cierra Lux, Emily Michels, Delanie Quinn and Ashley Stevens. H.B. United was coached by Mark DiLauro and Sam Daye.