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Mira Costa girls’ volleyball makes statement in win over Marymount

Mira Costa girls' volleyball celebrates after beating Marymount.
Mira Costa’s girls’ volleyball team celebrates after beating Marymount in three sets Thursday night.
(Luca Evans / Los Angeles Times)
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After the final point dropped in, they gathered with cheers, jumping up and down and belting some Lizzo.

“OK, all right!” the Manhattan Beach Mira Costa girls’ volleyball team yelled. “It’s about damn time!”

It’s their theme of the season, setter Charlie Fuerbringer said — a statement of everything the Mustang seniors have been working for on a climb toward the Southern Section mountaintop.

“About damn time,” Fuerbringer said. “We’re ready to win.”

They took a big step Thursday night with a 3-0 win (25-16, 25-21, 25-18) over Marymount, a program that hadn’t lost a match in nearly three years. The Mustangs kept them off-balance from the start, Fuerbringer playing with the positioning of the Sailors’ defense like a jazz musician in setting outside hitter Drew Wright up for monster kills.

In the first set, up 9-2, Marymount outside hitter Torrey Stafford leapt for a swing that would terminate the most. But Fuerbringer skied above the net, packing Stafford’s hit, sticking her tongue out with a slight smirk back on the ground.

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“Last year, if we could beat them, it was luck,” Wright said of Marymount, last season the top-ranked team in the nation. “This year, we felt we knew what they were doing, and we knew exactly how to beat them.”

It was the first time they’d beaten Marymount in his five-year tenure, head coach Cam Green said. They’d see them again later in the year, Green grinned — but for the night, for a team who wants it all, they’d take it.

“They feel like they have a good chance,” Green said of the Mustangs. “They understand this league and this section is full of really good teams, but they believe they’re one of the best.”

Redondo Union girls’ volleyball beat Mater Dei in four sets in an early-season victory on Tuesday.

Aug. 30, 2022

Oilers slip against Monarchs

No watching film. No talking about it. Huntington Beach coach Craig Pazanti just wanted to move on as quickly as possible after Thursday night’s 3-0 loss (25-21, 25-14, 25-16) to Santa Ana Mater Dei.

“It was the first time I’ve seen us look — I don’t want to use the word scared, but I just didn’t see the confidence we’ve been playing with all year,” Pazanti said.

Entering the match, Huntington Beach was 7-0 and the top-ranked Southern Section team in the CIF state ranking. Mater Dei sat at just 2-2, coming off back-to-back losses to Lakewood and Redondo Union. The Oilers had beaten Lakewood 3-1 earlier in the year; Mater Dei lost to them 3-1.

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But the Monarchs passed better than Pazanti had seen all year, he said. In a slugfest of a season, it was just more proof that any of the top eight teams, as Pazanti added, could knock each other off on any given night.

—Chatsworth Sierra Canyon beat a formerly 9-1 Westlake Village Oaks Christian team 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-19) to improve to 14-1. Senior Olivia Babcock led the way with 13 kills and four blocks, setter Sade Ilawole added 32 assists and four aces, and junior Maddie Way announced her commitment to Hawaii in a picture-perfect Thursday for the Trailblazers.

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