It’s only two games into its Orange Coast League schedule, but the Laguna Beach High girls’ volleyball team is two games closer to repeating as league champion.
The Breakers ran their league record to 2-0 and won their 11th match of the 2013 season Tuesday by sweeping visiting Estancia, 25-16, 25-19, 25-19, at Dugger Gym. The victory put the Breakers, ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 1-A, at 11-9 overall.
Sabrina Stillwell had a match-high 12 kills. Samantha Kruger had six kills and 11 digs, Francie Holte 21 digs, and Aspen Rocha 23 assists for the Breakers.
Estancia slipped to 1-1 in league.
“I thought we played very well,” Laguna Coach Raul Papaleo said. “We put a lot of different lineups on the court and we played hard and consistent, which was a good thing. Estancia’s a good team, one of the best in our league, I believe, and we had to be careful how we rotated the girls. They did a great job, though, and were digging a lot of balls.”
With the wins against Saddleback and Estancia, Laguna increased its streak to 72 consecutive victories in league play dating to 2005. The Breakers, who are seeking their ninth-straight league title (eighth in the OCL), has 99-straight set victories dating to the 2009 season.
The school record for consecutive league match victories is 105 (1988-99).
The Breakers haven’t lost a match in the OCL, which is in its eighth year.
Estancia fell to 1-1 in league.
Laguna started its league schedule Oct. 3 against Saddleback and took a 25-8, 25-15, 25-14 from the visiting Roadrunners. Kelsey Paul had a team-high 11 kills, Rocha six kills and nice aces, Brooke Borges 11 digs, and Charlotte Rubel and Emily Dworakowski 13 and nine assists, respectively.
Laguna played a league match Thursday at Calvary Chapel. The score wasn’t available at press time.
On Friday, the girls’ volleyball program will hold its annual alumni match at Dugger Gym. Papaleo said the Laguna frosh/soph and junior varsity teams will blend together to make two teams, and then face each other in an opening match (best of three) at 5:30 p.m. The varsity team will take on the alumni following the frosh/soph-JV match.
Papaleo will coach the varsity team and said Concordia University men’s volleyball coach, Shawn Patchell, whose daughter, Sage, is a sophomore outside hitter on the Laguna varsity team, will coach the alumni team.
The Breakers have two league matches scheduled next week starting with a 4:30 p.m. game Monday at Godinez. They play host to Costa Mesa at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Boys’ Water Polo
The Breakers opened Orange Coast League play Wednesday and scored a 19-7 victory at Saddleback.
Aki Andersen, Cade Baldridge and Henry White each scored three goals and goalie Garrett Hartley had eight saves and five steals for the defending league champs, who are tied with Goleta Dos Pueblos at No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 rankings.
“The guys played well, had fun, and everyone played,” Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said.
Prior to taking on Saddleback, Laguna played a key, nonleague match Tuesday at Foothill. In a battle between two top-five CIF Southern Section Division 2 teams, the then-No. 5 Breakers were edged, 8-7, by the fourth-ranked Knights.
Andersen, Nolan Del Toro and Jakob Colladay all scored twice, Jack Dodson had four assists, and Hartley had seven saves for the Breakers.
Laguna got off to a slow start and trailed, 3-0, in the first quarter.
“I thought we looked lethargic and uninspired to start the game,” Damato said."The second through fourth quarters was a different story. We played with great energy, heart and never stopped fighting. Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot the ball very well or execute in our six-on-five attempts, and fell short.
“Foothill is too good of a team to fall behind, 3-0. We lost to them, 11-5, two weeks ago, so we are making progress for sure, [We] just need to find a way to put four, consistent quarters together.”
The Breakers also were edged by Dana Hills, the No. 8 team in CIF Southern Section Division 1, 16-15. Baldridge led Laguna in scoring with five goals.
“The game against Dana was a tough loss because I thought we played really well and had just 10 seconds in the game to get out of there with a win,” Damato said. “We led a lot of the game and battled with a bigger, more talented team. Our kids played together, played their hearts out and I was proud of that.
“We are getting better and playing the toughest schedule we have had to date since I have been here. Our record is not an indicator of how good we are. This team is so close to breaking out. We are going to be a scary team come playoff time.”
Laguna, which is 7-8 overall, has three games on tap next week starting with a Wednesday league game against Sage Hill. The Breakers have nonleague games Thursday (4:45 p.m.) at Murrieta Valley, the No. 2-ranked team in Division 2, and Oct. 18 (4 p.m.) at home against Coronado.
Laguna lost to Murrieta Valley in September at the Santa Barbara Tournament.
The defending Orange Coast League champion Breakers, ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, ended the first round of league play Tuesday with an undefeated record by disposing of visiting Costa Mesa, 17-1.
The Breakers won eight of nine sets in singles play. Kira Hamilton won once (6-1) and Kathleen Kimball twice (6-2, 6-2) at No. 1 singles. Ashley Shelton won her two sets (6-0, 6-3) at No. 2 singles, and Nina Bo won once (6-1) and Iman Berri twice (7-6, 6-4) at No. 3 singles.
Laguna swept in doubles play. At No. 1, Madeline Loomis/Sarah Nederlander won twice (6-2, 6-0) and Nicole Doiron/Anna Heitmann once (6-1). Natasha Keces/Ashley Fair had two wins (6-0, 6-1) and Shawna Yang/Ashley Fair one win (6-2) at No. 2, and the No. 3 team of Stephanie Tat/Malia Helms swept (6-0, 6-1, 6-0).
The win put Laguna at 8-3 overall and capped a 5-0 run through the first round of league play.
The Breakers had collected their fourth league win Oct. 3 by blanking host Godinez, 18-0.
In a nonleague match Monday, host Laguna was edged by Beckman, 10-8. Shelton swept (6-2, 7-5, 6-2) at No. 2 singles, and Hamilton won two of three (5-7, 6-2, 6-3) at the No. 1 line.
Nederlander/Keces won two of three sets (6-2, 6-3, 1-6) at No. 2 doubles.
Bailey Jaeger, who plays No. 3 singles, is still sidelined with tendinitis in her wrist.
Laguna started the second round of league play Thursday at Saddleback The score wasn’t available at press time.
The Breakers next week play a 3:15 nonleague match Monday at Santa Margarita (No. 9, Division 1), and 3 p.m. league matches Tuesday at Estancia, and at home Thursday against Calvary Chapel.
The Breakers hosted a four-way Orange Coast League meet Monday at Aliso Creek Golf Course (par 32) and won all three matches (one by forfeit). They improved to 6-0 and alone in first place in league, and went to 7-4 overall.
In one match, Laguna took a 235-258 victory from Estancia. MaryKate Quellmalz and Jackie McMahon of the Breakers both shot 42 to earn co-medalist honors.
The Breakers also won, 235-261, against Calvary Chapel. Natalie Mattison of Calvary Chapel shot 35 for medalist honors.
Laguna’s forfeit victory came at the expense of Costa Mesa.
In addition to the 42 scores for Quellmalz and McMahon, Audrey Curtis shot 48, Murphy Thompson 51, Jamie Hendrickson 52, and Leslie Dwight 55.
“This was a great day for our team,” Laguna Assistant Coach Sean Quigley said. “We shot our best team score of the season at Aliso Creek and the wins put us into sole possession of first place. We are at the halfway point in the league schedule and the team is playing solid, consistent golf.
“All of the players are steadily improving each week and their scores are dropping. It seems like every week we have someone post a low score for the season and this time it was Jackie [McMahon] and Audrey [Curtis] who both shot their lowest scores of the season at Aliso Creek.”
The Breakers face Calvary Chapel at Mile Square Park Golf Course at 3 p.m. Monday. The Eagles are in second place in the league standings, two games behind the Breakers.
A victory Monday puts Laguna in line for the league title.
“Overall, we’ve won a couple of close matches against Calvary and our girls will need to stay focused and score well when we play them next week at Miles Square (Park),” Quigley said.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Girls’ Volleyball: Laguna Beach, No. 3, Division 1A.
Boys’ Water Polo: Laguna Beach, tie-No. 3, Division 2.
Girls’ Tennis: Laguna Beach No. 3, Division 2.
Boys’ Cross-Country: Laguna Beach, No. 3, Division 4.
Girls’ Cross-Country: Laguna Beach, No. 7, Division 4.