Healthy Redondo Union is the team to beat in girls’ volleyball playoffs


Redondo Union High School is going to be an imposing roadblock for any girls’ volleyball team that aspires to win the Southern Section Division 1 championship.

The Sea Hawks (35-3) have not lost a match, or a single set, all season when their top players are available, which helps explain why they were given the No. 1 seed on Saturday for the Division 1 playoffs.

“Everyone is healthy,” coach Tommy Chaffins said.

Redondo will open play in the 12-team bracket Oct. 30 at home against the winner of Thursday’s Aliso Niguel-Long Beach Poly opening match. Los Angeles Marymount is seeded No. 2, Santa Ana Mater Dei No. 3 and Chatsworth Sierra Canyon No. 4. The top 4 seeds all received first-round byes.

Redondo has 12 seniors on its roster, plus talented underclassmen in junior Kami Miner and freshman Mele Corral-Blagojevich.


Some coaches in Division 1 aren’t too pleased with the 12-team bracket because it eliminates matches and, they believe, disrupts teams’ rhythm as a result. But it also rewards the top teams in Southern California with a best vs. best tournament. The final is Nov. 9 at Cerritos College.

Divisions 2 through 9 are all 32-team brackets. Sun Valley Village Christian is the No. 1 seed for Division 2 and Ontario Christian No. 1 in Division 3.

Taking an L

The Mission League principals voted Saturday to accept a recommendation from the league athletic directors to have Mission Hills Bishop Alemany and Los Angeles Loyola each take a loss on their league record because their football game that had to be canceled due to poor air quality from a brush fire in the San Fernando Valley. The loss will not be reflected on their overall records.

The schools were unable to reschedule the game on a Saturday or Monday. They fall to 1-2 in league.

Banning miracle

In the history of the Wilmington Banning-Carson football rivalry, there have been few endings quite like what happened Friday night. With 1.1 seconds left, Banning quarterback Jake Otto completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Fa’alafua. Then Otto ran in the two-point conversion to give the Pilots a 36-35 victory.

Banning improved to 5-4 overall and 2-1 in the Marine League.


Said Banning coach Raymond Grajeda: “One of the best I’ve seen and one of the best I’ve been involved in.”

Fa’alafua had been prevented from playing offense the entire game as punishment for tossing his helmet after dropping a pass in the end zone the previous week. The coaches decided to put him in for the first time on the final play and let him use his 6-foot-3 height to try to come down with the ball.

“This is why we can’t hold grudges,” Grajeda said of giving Fa’alafua another chance after several assistants wanted him punished. “They learned a lesson, I learned a lesson.”