Volleyball Prep Notes: Week Ending September 3

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It might be a short work week, but there’s still some volleyball to recap and preview for what should be a remarkably busy sports week.

Linfield Christian wins the Cal Lutheran Tournament for the fourth consecutive year:

One of the question marks coming this season was how Linfield Christian would fare after the graduation of League Ambassadors Player of the Year Breanna Mitchell. Early feedback so far indicates they should be pretty competitive in the hunt for the two playoff spots behind Ontario Christian. Dana Ortiz’s side won a straight-set match against Cal Lutheran, a CIF-SS quarter-finalist last season in D8, earlier this week and beat the C-Hawks again to win a fourth consecutive title in the “Dive Into The Season Classic” last Saturday in Wildomar. Anna Roth took full tournament honors as Linfield Christian also recorded wins over Santa Rosa Academy, Calvary Chapel Downey, Hamilton and Temecula Prep en route to the title. They will host Temecula Valley on Tuesday and Rancho Christian on Thursday before opening Ambassador League play.

Wolfpack at the California Challenge organized by La Costa Canyon:

Thanks to a team that dropped out at the last minute, the Great Oak women’s volleyball team was able to participate in the California Challenge hosted by La Costa Canyon and San Marcos in San Diego County. The Wolfpack went 1-1 in Friday’s pool session with a win over Cienega (AZ) and a loss to Torrey Pines. In Saturday’s match, they went 1-2 with a win over Los Gatos and losses to host La Costa Canyon and Santa Fe Christian.

First weekly CIF-SS coach polls released this week:

Beginning Tuesday this week, the CIF-SS will release weekly volleyball coach surveys for all nine divisions, compiled by their Coaches Advisory Committees. To view the polls, visit cifss.org/sports/girls-volleyball Tuesday (usually Monday) after approximately 3 p.m.

Player of the week:

Murrieta Valley enjoyed a 3-0 week with wins over Ontario Christian (in straight sets) in a rematch of last year’s CIF-SS D2 first round match, Paloma Valley and Norco, to remain unbeaten at 6- 0. Audrey Black, a senior intermediate blocker, earns Player of the Week honors this week by hitting 0.414% and posting 12 blocks overall. Nighthawks coach Ann Romero-Parks said, “Audrey moved into middle tackle this year and is already making her presence felt at the net. She is very athletic and has an extremely high volleyball IQ.

Valley News Player of the Week Audrey Black, center, and the Lady Nighthawks improved to 4-0 with last Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Ontario Christian. Valley News/David Canales Photo

Matches to watch this week:

Vista Murrieta at La Costa Canyon

The Mavericks come into this game winning a California Challenge title as Vista Murrieta looks to bounce back from an opening night sweep in Marymount, LA. The Broncos will only play three non-league games before heading into Southwest League play and seeking a fourth consecutive title.

Roosevelt at Chaparral

This is a rematch of a Sunday morning pool match at the Queens Court tournament won by Chaparral in straight sets (25-19, 25-23). Roosevelt dropped a five-set thriller against Etiwanda 20-18 in the fifth last Thursday to fall from the unbeaten ranks. Can they knock the Pumas out of those ranks and gain significant momentum ahead of the Big VIII League game?

Santiago at the Great Oak

Santiago will finish with a winning record against the Base League, but the Sharks are 0-2 against Southwest League opponents. Can they step up to the board and set the stage for a Big VIII League title defense that begins a night later against Norco?

Big Oak in Paloma Valley

Hannah Schaffer played under Wildcats coach Stephen Kaas when she was in high school and now the two will face off for the first time in the regular season.

Derryl Trujillo has been a regional sportswriter since 2018 and is the winner of the 2019 IEBCA Supporter of the Year award. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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