Sierra Canyon stands between Mira Costa and the Division 1 girls’ volleyball title

Mira Costa coach Cam Green talks to his players.
Mira Costa coach Cam Green leads his 36-3 Mustangs into the Southern Section Division 1 championship match Saturday night at Cerritos College.
(Luca Evans / Los Angeles Times)

Five years ago, in the process of being hired at his alma mater of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, current girls’ volleyball coach Cam Green was asked a simple question.

“What do you see for the future?”

“I want to hang some banners,” Green responded.

Saturday brings his best chance to do just that, steering the 36-3 Mustangs into the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship at Cerritos College. They haven’t relinquished their place on top of the section since the season began, and even dating to spring, Green said, his players were calling the year “ring season.”

Not so fast.

A seemingly unstoppable force meets an immovable object in Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, which has gained steam as the season rolled on and is coming off a gritty five-set win over L.A. Marymount in the last match of pool play.


High school girls’ volleyball: City and Southern Section championship schedule

Nov. 2, 2022

“I think it was important that we made a statement,” Sierra Canyon coach Stefanie Wigfall said. “That we are going to play good teams hard, play them well, and that we’re not going to back down.”

Curious in seeing what high-octane offense at the high school level looks like? Swing by Cerritos College on Saturday, where the Trailblazers will feature 6-foot-4 Pittsburgh commit Olivia Babcock, 6-1 Cornell commit Jaida Sione and 6-2 Boston College commit Danica Rach.

The Mustangs, meanwhile, are built around 5-11 setter Charlie Fuerbringer — daughter of Matt Fuerbringer, a former Olympian in beach volleyball — and her connection with 5-10 outside hitter Drew Wright, who racks up kills from a variety of angles.

That match will steal the show — but the Division 2 championship between Aliso Niguel and Vista Murrieta is equally tantalizing.

After knocking off strong programs in Studio City Harvard-Westlake and Redondo Union in the bracket, the Wolverines are back in the Division 2 final for the second consecutive year. They’ll face Vista Murrieta, who breezed through the Southwestern League after a tough early-season schedule.

Claire Little, a 6-2 outside hitter who’s been committed to Brigham Young since the eighth grade, will look to put the finishing touches on an incredible career with the Broncos.


For Aliso Niguel, meanwhile, ties run deep. They boast not one but two sets of sisters in Macey and Madyson Smith and 6-foot twins Riley and Rian Barr plus coach Richelle Whiting’s daughter Danet is the team’s leader in digs.

“We’re a happy family,” coach Whiting said.

The Aliso Niguel-Vista Murrieta match will be noon Saturday at Cerritos College. Mira Costa and Sierra Canyon play at 7:30 p.m.

The City Section Open Division championship on Friday night, meanwhile, will bring back a touch of history for two of the longest-tenured coaches in the City.

Fifteen years ago, as Arman Mercado was coaching the Taft boys and Tom Harp the Granada Hills boys, the two met in the championship of a five-set thriller at Cal State Northridge, with Taft losing 21-19 in a back-and-forth final set.

“The best volleyball match I’ve ever been a part of,” Mercado said.

With the girls’ Open championship returning to CSUN, Mercado and Harp meet again on familiar ground, as Granada and Taft will clash in a West Valley League matchup.

“It’s in the Valley, so the place should be packed and rocking,” Mercado said.