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Pacifica Christian OC girls’ volleyball bows out of state playoffs at Wiseburn Da Vinci

Pacifica Christian libero Carly Kane (7) receives a serve against Inglewood Animo Leadership on Oct. 21.
Pacifica Christian libero Carly Kane (7) receives a serve against Inglewood Animo Leadership in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 playoffs on Oct. 21.
(James Carbone)

A last-ditch effort was not enough to save the season for the Pacifica Christian Orange County High School girls’ volleyball team on Thursday.

After dropping the first two sets with nary a fight, a strong effort to take the third set came up short, as the visiting Tritons were swept by El Segundo Wiseburn Da Vinci 25-14, 25-13, 27-25 in the CIF State Southern California Regional Division V quarterfinals.

Junior outside hitter Isabella Taueetia had a team-high 11 kills for Mulholland League champion Wiseburn Da Vinci (27-6), which also knocked Pacifica Christian (20-11) out of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 playoffs in the semifinals.

Sophomore outside hitter Katana Santiago added eight kills for the Wolves, and sophomore setter Mariezl Portock had a match-leading six service aces.

“I think it definitely changed our element because when we had to play them at their home gym, we were a lot slower,” Taueetia said of being at home in the rematch. “But being here and having our own crowd, our own gym and our energy was really good. That helped us take the [win].”

Junior middle blocker Rebecca Penjoyan had four kills to pace the Tritons. Freshman middle blocker Kaelin Rieke had three kills and two blocks, freshman opposite Chara Wondercheck had two kills and two blocks, and sophomore outside hitter Collen O’Callaghan also had two kills.

Pacifica Christian found itself facing a familiar foe for the second time in the state playoffs. In their state tournament opener, the Tritons squared off with Academy League rival Avalon.

The Tritons dispatched of the league-champion Lancers, to whom they lost twice in the regular season, in a four-set victory at home on Tuesday.

“Honestly, it was actually pretty crazy because we played in our first state game a team that we lost to in league, and we beat them, so that was kind of like a cool comeback story,” Tritons senior setter Logan Bray said. “We were like, ‘Oh, this is a cool thing that we get to play another team that also beat us.’ … I thought that was a funny turn of events, for sure.”

Carly Kane, a senior libero for Pacifica Christian, enjoyed her team’s deep playoff run.

“It’s been amazing,” Kane said. “I mean, every single win has been like a treasure to us. Every single win that we’ve had has brought us closer together as individuals, and as a team, and the entire experience has been an amazing thing, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”

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