Mira Costa’s Lindsay Chalmers dives for a dig as Kelly Geiser moves in. Photo by Randy Angel
The Southern Pacific Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (IBVL) completed the final week of the regular season Saturday with top-ranked and Bay division champion Mira Costa and second-ranked Valencia (Mountain) emerging as the only undefeated teams with 10-0 records.
Redondo Union (8-2) remained No. 3 in the polls despite forfeit losses to Mira Costa and Serra as many of the Sea Hawks players were fulfilling club team obligations.
Defending champion Mira Costa swept West Torrance and Valencia defeated Oaks Christian 2-1 and Trinity Classical 3-0 to complete their perfect regular seasons.
Mira Costa coach and 2000 Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Eric Fonoimoana said he was elated to see how quickly the league grown – from eight to 47 teams in three years.
“The level of competition is so much higher this year,” Fonoimoana said. “There are more opportunities for women now and I’m here to help prepare the girls for the next level.”
Mira Costa’s Lan Nguyen, who won the 2013 Pairs Championship with Skylar Caputo, said she was disappointed the showdown between unbeaten Mira Costa and cross-town rival Redondo failed to materialize.
“Our girls were looking forward to playing them,” Nguyen said. “But I’m sure we’ll see them in the playoffs.”
Lan Nguyen scores a point during Mira Costa’s win against West Torrance. Photo by Randy Angel
Riviera Division champion San Marcos (9-1) jumped up to No. 4 as the top team while Orange Division champion Mater Dei (9-1), who swept Tesoro and Santa Margarita, is the highest ranking team among the Orange County schools.
Sunset Division co-champions, No. 6 Huntington Beach (9-1) and No. 8 Edison (9-1) both swept Marina and Wilson.
After sweeping El Toro, No. 7 Saddleback Valley Christian (9-1) handed Laguna Beach its first division loss 3-0 to claim the South Coast Division.
Marmonte Division Champion No. 9 Westlake (7-3) beat Agoura before dropping a 2-1 match against Newbury Park to finish tied with Thousand Oaks but claimed the title with the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Westside Division Champion No. 10 Marymount (7-3) swept Pacific Christian and Windward.
Palisades Charter won the Ocean Division with wins over Foothill Tech and El Segundo while Alemany won the Mission Division with sweeps of Notre Dame and Harvard-Westlake.
In the first year of junior varsity competition, Mira Costa, Santa Barbara and Edison had undefeated seasons with 10-0 records.
Varsity playoff action begins Monday, May 5 at Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica where Westlake and Archer School for Girls will play at 4 p.m. followed by Santa Monica and Santa Ynez at 5 p.m.
Competition on Tuesday, May 6 will be held at Huntington City Beach (Beach Blvd. Courts) beginning with Huntington Beach-Flintridge Sacred Heart and Saddleback Valley Christian-Palos Verdes matches at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m., Edison faces El Segundo and Mater Dei takes on La Canada.
First-round matches conclude Wednesday, May 7 at Dockweiler State Beach. At 4 p.m., Alemany plays Oxnard, Palisades Charter faces Notre Dame and Notre Dame Academy takes on Laguna Beach. At 5 p.m., Oaks Christian and Thousand Oaks squared off, Santa Barbara plays Foothill and Marymount faces Santa Margarita.
Mira Costa, Valencia, Redondo Union and San Marcos earned first-round byes. Second-round matches will be held Thursday, May 8 at Dockweiler beginning at 4 p.m.
The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be held Saturday, May 10 at Annenberg beginning at 8 a.m.