Tolog title dreams achieved

GLENDALE —This is the third of eight consecutive editions in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2009-10 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.

Things couldn't have gone better than planned surrounding the sports scene at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

The Tologs' crowning moment came when the soccer team captured its first CIF Southern California Regional Division III championship. Prior to winning the title, the squad reached the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals and just missed playing for a championship.

The swimming team shared the Mission League championship, grabbing a piece of it for the third time in the past four seasons. Senior swimmer Andrea Kropp proved to not only be one of the league's elite swimmers, but she also fared quite well at CIF, winning a division championship.

The volleyball team finished second in the competitive Mission League and advanced to the second round of the playoffs and the basketball team also qualified for the postseason.

Here is a recap of some of the Tologs' athletic highlights and events that unfolded during the past year:

Sept. 16, 2009 — The tennis team begins its season with a 10-8 nonleague loss against Flintridge Prep at Fremont Tennis Center. The Tologs finish at 2-13 and 2-8 in the Mission League for fifth place.

Sept. 29, 2009 — The volleyball team falls to neighborhood rival La Cañada in a nonleague match for the first time since 2003. The Spartans hand the Tologs a 25-17, 25-15, 25-16 setback. Camille Coffey has a team high 11 kills and eight digs and Alessandra Orlandini finishes with 25 assists.

Oct. 3, 2009 — At the 42nd installment of the Kenny Staub Invitational at Crescenta Valley Park, the cross-country team captures the Division III race. Stefanie Vargas finishes second overall with a mark of 20 minutes 27.93 seconds.

"We needed to step up because we've been struggling," said Tologs Coach Kirk Nishiyama, whose team begins the season ranked fourth in the CIF Southern Section Division IV rankings. "This was a step in the right direction."

Oct. 15, 2009 — The volleyball squad recovers from a slow start to post a 23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-21 Mission League home win against Louisville. The Tologs get a team-best 22 kills and 25 digs from Coffey to jump into first place in league.

Oct. 23, 2009 — Competing in the 62nd rendition of the Mount San Antonio College Cross-Country Invitational in Walnut, the Tologs finish eighth in the Division IV team sweepstakes Green Race with 227 points. Senior Andrea Kropp is the top finisher for the Tologs, placing 33rd in 20:52. Vargas places 42nd in 21:16 and junior Paige Conti comes in 43rd at 21:18.

Nov. 4, 2009 — The cross-country team's bid to win a second straight Mission League championship comes up short as they place second to Harvard-Westlake at Crescenta Valley Park. Vargas finishes sixth overall in 20:17, while the rest of the Tologs' scorers finish in succession in ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th.

"We packed well today, our times were good, but we need to get better," Nishiyama said.

Nov. 5, 2009 — The volleyball team wraps up the regular season with a 25-14, 25-10, 25-16 Mission League loss to visiting Harvard-Westlake. The Tologs finish 7-3 in league for second place behind the rival Wolverines, who sweep the two-match season series.

The girls' golf team concludes its season without winning a match.

Nov. 10, 2009 — The volleyball team rallies from a 2-0 deficit to post a five-set Division I-AA first-round home victory against Orange Lutheran. Flintridge Sacred Heart receives 27 kills and 16 digs from Coffey and 25 assists and 13 digs from Orlandini to earn a surprising 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 27-25, 15-7 win.

"We had to use the momentum that we had from losing in the second game throughout the rest of the match," said Coffey, a junior outside hitter. "They contended with us for points, but we wanted it.

"There was absolutely no giving up."

Nov. 12, 2009 — The volleyball team sees its season end with a second-round playoff loss to host Mira Costa. Sacred Heart receives six kills from Mary Schroeder and three kills and 11 digs from Coffey in a 25-6, 25-16, 25-11 defeat. The Tologs go 22-10.

Nov. 21, 2009 — At the Division IV final at Mt. San Antonio College, Flintridge Sacred Heart's cross-country team fails to qualify for the state meet after it registers 234 points. Amanda Aguilar leads the way for the Tologs, finishing 35th in 19:46, while Andrea Kropp, despite battling a leg injury, places 45th in 20:12. Jacquie Scherrer (57th, 20:27), Mary Senstad (60th, 20:30) and Paige Conti (62nd, 20:35) round out the team's scoring five.

Dec. 2, 2009 — The water polo team receives eight goals from Olivia Gonzalez en route to a convincing 12-2 nonleague home victory against Flintridge Prep. The Tologs finish at 3-11 and 1-9 in the Mission League for sixth place.

Dec. 29, 2009 — Some late dramatics, which includes a penalty shot by Savannah Viola, net the soccer team a 1-1 (6-5) victory against Beckman in the championship match of the fifth annual Los Tacos Holiday Festival at the Glendale Sports Complex.

"I was really nervous because it was to win the tournament," Viola said. "I had to go out there and be confident in knowing that I could make it.

"That's my mentality. I did well in practice with the penalty kicks because I'm always practicing them."

Jan. 6, 2010 — Outshooting its opponent, 24-9, the soccer team earns a hard-fought 1-1 tie with Mission League rival Harvard-Westlake on the road.

Jan. 25 — In its second meeting with its chief league rival, the soccer team picks up a 2-0 win against Harvard-Westlake.

Feb. 1 — Tera Trujillo scores the lone goal to lead the soccer team to a 1-0 Mission League win against host Chaminade.

Feb. 9 — The basketball team picks up a 66-58 Mission League home victory against Louisville.

Feb. 18 — After receiving an at-large berth for the Division IV-A basketball playoffs, the Tologs open with a 63-48 road loss against Marymount. The Tologs, who get a team-high 10 points and three steals from freshman forward Dana Budzyn, finish at 9-18 and 1-9 in league for fifth place.

Feb. 20 — The soccer team starts off the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs with a 3-0 win against Brea Olinda at Glendale Community College. The second-seeded Tologs get two goals from Breeana Koemans and one from Katie Johnson.

Feb. 24 — Taking to the road for the first time in the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs, Sacred Heart's soccer teams rolls to a 5-0 second-round win against St. Lucy's. It marks the eighth match in a row that the Tologs record a shutout.

Feb. 26 — Trailing the defending Division II champions, 2-0, at halftime, the soccer squad completes an amazing comeback to earn a 3-2 victory against Saugus in a quarterfinal match at Glendale Community College. Jillian Jacobs and Katie Johnson score quick goals to knot the match at 2 before Sarah Teegarden gives the Tologs the lead in the 64th minute. Flintridge Sacred Heart, which advances to the semifinals for the first time in program history, gains revenge after the Centurions eliminated it in the 2009 postseason.

"It felt so good," Breeana Koemans said. "And they're the defending champions, so it felt even better."

March 2 — Making late-match comebacks isn't anything new for the soccer squad. After coming back in the second half to defeat Saugus in a CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinal match, the Tologs do the same thing in their semifinal match against host Beckman.

Beckman prevails, 2-2 (4-3) on penalty kicks to eliminate the Tologs, who tie the game at 2 on a goal by Jillian Jacobs in the closing minutes of regulation.

"It was a great game," Flintridge Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace said. "It comes down to PKs and it's the luck of the draw."

March 8 — The soccer team begins the CIF Southern California Regional Division III playoffs with a convincing 7-0 win against Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies at the Glendale Sports Complex. The Tologs score all of their goals during a 30-minute stretch in the first half.

Katie Johnson finishes with two goals and two assists for the Tologs, who make their first appearance in the tournament.

March 10 — Katie Johnson collects two goals and an assist and Breeana Koemans adds two goals to spark the Flintridge Sacred Heart soccer team to an easy 4-0 victory against Desert Christian at the Glendale Sports Complex in a CIF Southern California Regional Division III semifinal match.

"We're really excited," said Tologs co-Coach Kathy Desmond, whose team went 7-0-3 in the Mission League. "I think the girls deserve to play in a championship game. We let two [titles] slip through our hands this year."

March 12 — The soccer team concludes its most successful season by winning the CIF Southern California Regional Division III championships at Warren High in Downey. Outsized against a physical Francis Parker squad, the Tologs overcome an 1-0 deficit to post a 2-1 win.

Flintridge Sacred Heart (22-1-4) gets one goal apiece from Jillian Jacobs in the 10th minute and Breeana Koemans in the 17th minute to turn back Francis Parker, which opened the scoring in the third minute.

The Tologs, who reached the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals for the first time in their history, turn back several late runs by Francis Parker before clinching the win and celebrating in full force.

"I just told myself I gotta step up my game, we gotta win, I want a ring, I want a championship," said sophomore midfielder Tera Trujillo.

March 16 — The softball team picks up a 2-1 nonleague road victory against Flintridge Prep. Left fielder Kelly Jacobs and center fielder Emily Brown each come through with clutch defensive plays in the bottom of the seventh inning to help preserve the victory. Jacobs makes a lunging catch with the tying run on second. Brown then throws out the potential tying run at the plate for the game's final out with a perfect peg to catcher Meghan Luera.

March 18 — The softball team enjoys a breakout performance as it collects 13 hits en route to a 14-2 nonleague win against host Glendale. Flintridge Sacred Heart does most of its damage in the third and sixth innings, scoring four runs to come from behind and take a 5-2 lead in the third and spiking the plate five times in the sixth.

Pitcher Mackenzie Lyng goes six innings for the victory.

March 25 — Sophomore Drew Washington wins the 100-meter dash in 13.35 seconds and the triple jump with a leap of 30 feet 9 inches and freshman Daelyn Moon wins the long jump with a school-record mark of 16-6 1/4 to help the track and field team earn an 81-43 Mission League win against Chaminade at St. Francis High.

April 22 — The swimming team finds itself entering its final meet of the season against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at Loyola High tied for first with three teams in the Mission League.

The Tologs are tied with Harvard-Westlake, Alemany and Notre Dame.

Never threatened by the Knights, the Tologs cruise to a 117-59 victory to secure a co-championship with Harvard-Westlake, their third title in the last four seasons.

Alemany, which had the inside track to its second straight title before forfeiting its March 11 win over Sacred Heart due to a self-reported eligibility violation, falls to Harvard-Westlake, 86-84.

"We were obviously pumped up for this," Sacred Heart senior Andrea Kropp said. "Getting the chance to feel refocused and come back here and still have a chance to win the title was just an amazing opportunity for our team."

May 3 — Kropp shows why she's among the elite swimmers in the Mission League, as she comes through during the league final at the San Fernando Regional Pool with a pair of season-best efforts.

Kropp takes first in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke at the San Fernando Regional Pool. She finishes her three-year career with eight league titles.

Kropp begins things by winning her first crown in the 200 IM title in 2 minutes 05.30 seconds. Then, in the breaststroke, her specialty event, Kropp breaks her own meet record with a mark of 1:04.39. Her previous best time in the event came in 2008, when she clocked 1:05.98.

"In Andrea's case, she's obviously looking to bigger and better things," Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Steve Bergen said. "I think her times were very good."

May 4 — The softball team holds on for a 5-3 Mission League victory against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at the Glendale Sports Complex. Haley Mojica collects two hits for the Tologs, who finish at 9-11 and 4-6 in league for fourth place.

May 6 — While none of the members of the track and field team capture Mission League championships, some turn in impressive efforts at the league finals at L.A. Valley College.

Noelle Niederhaus and Drew Washington finish second and third, respectively, in the 400-meter race. Paulina Antaplyan places second in the 1,600- and 3,200 events and Hailey James is second in the 300 low hurdles. The Tologs also place second in both relays.

In the 400, Niederhaus clocks 58.8 seconds and Washington finishes in 59.1. Antaplyan finishes the 1,600 in 5 minutes 21 seconds before coming back to set a school mark in the 3,200 at 11:40. James clocks 49.5 in the 300 hurdles.

The 4x100 relay team of James, Niederhaus, Daelyn Moon and Washington finishes second in 50.99. The 4x400 relay squad of Washington, Moon, Stephanie Vargas and Niederhaus takes second in 4:04.

May 14 — Kropp concludes her stellar high school career as she wins the 100-yard breaststroke at the CIF Southern Section Division I swimming and diving championships in 1 minute 1.23 seconds at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach.

"This is just the best feeling ever," said Kropp, who improves her career total of CIF titles to four. "That last 75 turn, I did my pullout and I said, 'I've got to win something.'

"To do it here, this has been my home away from home. ...I've had some great swims here and to be able to do this here just seals the deal."

Kropp edges out Mater Dei's Melissa Bates, who leads through the first three quarters. Kropp raises her level another notch in the last 25 yards, as she hits the pad .43 seconds ahead of Bates.

May 22 — The track and field team gets a fifth-place finish by Washington, Vargas and Moon and Niederhaus in the Division IV 4x400-meter relay at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

"We had some lofty goals, but we did it," said Tologs Coach Eddie Gorton following his relay team's finish in 3 minutes 57.96 seconds. "Our goal was to come in top-five and break four minutes. I'm very proud of them."

Antaplyan closes out her rookie season with two personal records and another pair of fifth-place finishes.

Antaplyan turns in a school-record mark of 11:15.36 in the 3,200. She clocks 5:14.80 in the 1,600.

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