Sophomore Abril Bustamante goes high to record one of her five kills during Redondo’s CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA semifinal victory. Photo by Ray Vidal
Redondo’s girls volleyball team has reached the CIF Division 1-AA finals for the second time in three years after sweeping visiting Corona del Mar 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 in a semifinal match Tuesday.
The Sea Hawks carry a 30-match winning streak into the championship match where top-seeded Redondo (35-3) will take on No. 2 Marymount (32-5) at 8 p.m. Saturday at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.
Redondo defeated Marymount with a two-set win in the Durango Fall Classic Sept. 15 then again Oct. 1 in a 25-17, 25-23, 14-25, 25-24 home victory in a non-league match.
“Marymount is always one of the top programs in the state, so we are honored to play them in the finals,” Redondo coach Tommy Chaffins said. “They have great players with great coaches, so it’s going to be a battle. Both sides have tremendous athletes.”
Redondo had an eye-opener Saturday when the Sea Hawks survived a scare by host Dana Hills which took Redondo to five sets for the first time this season.
“The team and I know how easily our season could’ve been over against Dana Hills,” Chaffins said. “I felt our team always appreciated each others efforts, and so enjoy being together. The realization that our season could’ve ended much earlier than we would’ve liked, I do think had an effect on us for the positive.”
“The five set match against Dana Hills was truly a blessing in disguise,” senior Skylar Dykstra said. ”It was the first time we had ever gone to a 5th game this year so going through that new and different element really tested us. Not only do I think it made us all mentally stronger and closer as a team but going through that stressful of match, one with so much on the line, really made us realize how badly we want to win so we are going to keep working towards achieving just that.”
That positive effect was evident in the first set Tuesday evening. Redondo rebounded from a 21-18 deficit in the first set scoring seven unanswered points to win and the Sea Hawks never looked back. Throughout the season, Chaffins has stressed the importance of focusing on the next play and his team responded playing another complete game against fifth-seeded Corona del Mar which had eliminated fourth-seeded Mater Dei in the quarterfinals.
Skylar Dykstra led Redondo with a match-high 20 kills along with two blocks and one ace. Brianna Lanktree added eight kills and nine digs, Abril Bustamante posted five kills and one block and Marissa Mitter contributed four kills.
Freshman Norene Iosia recorded 30 assists and eight digs and Katie Rotondo had 17 digs for the tough Sea Hawk defense.
“We are all very excited to be in the finals and knowing that we are playing such a great team really enhances those feelings,” Dykstra said. ”We know its going to be a battle and its one we can’t wait to be in.”
In Division 2-A, second-seeded Chadwick (28-2) swept Pasadena Poly to reach the championship match where the Dolphins will face top-seeded Whittier Christian (24-3) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Santiago Canyon College.
In Division 1-A, unranked Bishop Montgomery (22-14) lost to second-seeded La Salle (33-2) 22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 16-25, 15-12 in a semifinal match up.
In Division 2-AA, second-seeded South Torrance (25-11) saw its season end with a 21-15, 25-18, 26-24, 25-22 loss to No. 6 Los Osos.