Seniors give Flintridge Sacred Heart girls' volleyball its share of title

LA CAÑADA —The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball team started Tuesday night with a ceremony to honor its seniors in their final regular season home match.

The six Tologs seniors listened to their teammates share stories about how much they meant to the program and how they will be remembered.

The Tologs made sure to be remembered as a squad that brought a Mission League championship back to Flintridge Sacred Heart.

They defeated Chaminade, 25-13, 25-9, 25-10, to claim a share of the program's first league title since 2006.

“It's amazing,” Flintridge Sacred Heart senior middle blocker Ally Clapp said.

“It's amazing to finish it with all the seniors,” Clapp added before fellow senior Katherine Villegas finished the sentence.

“That means the most to us,” Villegas said.

Flintridge Sacred Heart (23-4, 9-1 in league) needed just 61 minutes to finish the match and spark a celebration on the court.

All six seniors started and dominated.

Villegas had 34 assists, senior Katie Conley had a match-high 14 kills and Clapp contributed 13 kills. Maddie Peterson added seven kills and Rachel Fowler had six kills, a pair of blocks and two aces.

“We've been working so hard in the past eight months,” Villegas said. “I love working with these girls.”

Villegas and the rest of her teammates set out in the beginning of the year to add another year to the league championship banner hanging from the gym.

The Tologs knew of their storied history.

Peterson's mom, Natalie, was a part of the Flintridge Sacred Heart squad that won the league title in 1981. Villegas' mother, Sarah, and Clapp's mom, Anna, were teammates on the 1986 Tologs league championship team.

“We've been working for this from the beginning of the season to get that number 13 on that banner,” Peterson said.

The Tologs — the fourth-ranked team in the latest CIF Southern Section Division 1A poll — clinched the title with the type of play that they have been displaying the entire season.

They used stellar defense and a balanced offensive attack to overwhelm Chaminade (2-22, 1-9), which fell to the Tologs, 25-10, 25-11, 25-8, earlier this season.

Flintridge Sacred Heart had three unanswered scoring runs of at least five points in the first game, including six consecutive points that gave it a 21-11 advantage.

Its run in the second game was even more impressive.

The Tologs held a 15-9 lead before Villegas took her turn to serve.

Villegas never stopped serving in the game, as the Tologs scored the final 11 points.

Chaminade scored the first point of the third game, but it didn't score much more, as the Tologs scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a commanding lead en route to the title.

“They did a great job,” said Tologs second-year Coach Ernest Banaag, who earned his 125th career victory and whose team will learn of its postseason fate when the brackets are released on Saturday at noon. “This was their last game. They were not going to lose their last night at home.”

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