Sierra Canyon finds its banner moment with Division 1 girls’ volleyball title
How would a banner look in Sierra Canyon’s gym, she was asked?
Half an hour before the Trailblazers’ Southern Section Division 1 final against Mira Costa, the normally stoic Stefanie Wigfall broke into a wide grin.
“Really, really, really, really nice,” she answered.
It’s no secret how badly the Trailblazers have wanted this all season. How badly they’ve been wanting to reach the top in a Gold Coast League with lesser competition that doomed their division seeding come playoff time.
Bishop Amat’s Aiden Ramos had 303 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, one of several top offensive performances in playoff openers this weekend.
“We want to be thought of in that Power 5, Power 6,” Wigfall said, referring to the mainstay top programs in the Southern Section, “of the Mater Deis, Marymounts, Mira Costas.”
The Sierra Canyon girls’ basketball team knows a thing or two about building a dynasty — and at Cerritos College, the team was there in full force, Juju Watkins and MacKenly Randolph hollering and waving blue-and-white pompoms. And on Saturday night, a new Trailblazers girls’ program ascended to the top of the Southern Section hierarchy, squashing Mira Costa rallies at every turn in a gritty 3-0 win (28-26, 25-23, 25-23).
“I think everybody in this gym had a favorite for who was going to win, and that’s all good ... we answered a lot of questions tonight,” Wigfall said.
A big part of the game plan for Mira Costa coach Cam Green was accounting for 6-foot-4 outside dynamo Olivia Babcock. After admitting they couldn’t stop her in a match at an early season tournament in Hawaii, Green simply acquiesced that the Mustangs would have to keep their composure as Babcock got her points.
“She bounces one, and everyone goes nuts,” Green said, “that’s OK.”
Except she bounced more than a few, the home crowd gaining momentum with every leap and spike from the Pittsburgh commit’s powerful arm. With the Mustangs matching the Traiblazers point for point late in the first set, Babcock went up for a swing and was blocked — except, with the ball still hanging in the air, she somehow touched hardwood and went up again, second-jumping for another spike.
“You can’t guard her!” the Sierra Canyon girls’ basketball team hollered in the third set.
She executed another second-jump kill in the second set. And in the third, she slammed four straight kills, slamming one so hard off a Mira Costa player’s face it looked as if it could’ve caused an injury.
“Right now, mentally, this is it,” Babcock said. “So I was going to go out there and give it my all.”
After the final point, the players dogpiled and and then held a trophy high — another Trailblazers girls’ team that had established itself as the class of the Southern Section.
“It’s cool seeing they’re No 1, we’re No. 1,” Watkins said.
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