Randy Angel

Marymount, Mira Costa tune up for grueling girls volleyball season

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Skylar Caputo and the Mira Costa Mustangs prepared for the 64-team Durango Fall Classic by scrimmaging non-league rival Marymount. Photo by Ray Vidal

Skylar Caputo and the Mira Costa Mustangs prepared for the 64-team Durango Fall Classic by scrimmaging non-league rival Marymount. Photo by Ray Vidal

Non-league rivals Marymount and Mira Costa met for a scrimmage Tuesday but the decibel level inside Fisher Gym on the Mira Costa campus matched that of a playoff match.

With nearly one third of the players on Marymount’s roster living in the Beach Cities and players on both sides familiar with each through club ball, bragging rights are important no matter what time of the season.

Mira Costa never trailed in the first two games, but Marymount mounted a comeback to take the five-game match 9-15, 9-15, 15-13, 19-17, 15-7.

“It’s always fun to beat Costa,” said Marymount outside hitter Grace Campbell who is a resident of Manhattan Beach. “We all know each other and hopefully we can carry the momentum into our next matches.”

Marymount will play two tough road matches in the next week beginning with Corona del Mar on Thursday, Sept. 4. The Sailors will travel to Oaks Christian on Tuesday, Sept. 9 before going to Las Vegas to compete in the prestigious 64-team Durango Fall Classic Sept. 19-20.

Marymount returns to the South Bay Sept. 23 to take on Redondo and will close out the grueling month hosting Mira Costa on Sept. 30.

“We’re very happy with the comeback,” Marymount head coach Cari Klein said. “We didn’t know what to expect. We were trying different lineups. Mira Costa is a great team that is known for getting better every single match.

“I hope we don’t get too excited because I saw a lot of things we need to work on. I did feel like we made improvements as the game went on which was good. You tell the girls things all year at practice and they don’t believe you until it happens in a game.”

Klein said she is used to stacking tough teams on her preseason schedule.

“Now we’re in a much harder league as the Sunshine and Mission Leagues merged,” Klein explained. “All the teams we play are good.”

Mira Costa’s first-year head coach Hayley Lawson-Blanchard was excited to have her complete team together for the first time this season.

All-CIF outside hitter Skylar Caputo reunited with her teammates after a successful beach volleyball season that included representing the U.S. at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China and missing the first week of school.

“It was good to have everyone back and healthy. Without Skylar, or starting lineup hasn’t even practice together,” Lawson-Blanchard said. “It was good to see what players did under pressure. It’s always disappointing not to win but their (Marymount’s) comeback will be helpful for us to see why we weren’t able to rise to that challenge.”

Caputo said it was good to be back in the gym for the first time in a month.

“It was tough loss but every girl gained valuable experience,” Caputo said. “Being able to have everyone out there is great. This scrimmage will motivate us and push us more in practice.”

Mira Costa won’t play again until the Durango Fall Classic, giving the Mustangs ten days to fine tune their game.

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