Cambrian: Sports

Coast Union girls draw first-round playoff bye

Senior Xue DiMaggio has shown great leadership this season, according to head coach Pam Kenyon. Here DiMaggio shows her vertical jump and return skills against Shandon in October.
Senior Xue DiMaggio has shown great leadership this season, according to head coach Pam Kenyon. Here DiMaggio shows her vertical jump and return skills against Shandon in October. Special to The Cambrian

Head coach Pam Kenyon believes her volleyball players should be healthy for the challenge they face as they open the CIF Division 5AA playoffs at home with a 7 p.m. match Thursday.

Her one concern is her junior middle hitter, Gigi Stoothoff, who had an infected foot recently, but Kenyon believes Stoothoff should be OK by Thursday. A couple other players have had colds recently, but again, the coach believes the team will be at or very near full strength.

Asked whether this team is as skillful as she thought it would be at the start of the season, Kenyon quickly answered: “I always knew they were going to be good; they just had to know that themselves.

“Teams tend to look at the previous year and say, ‘I don’t think we’re as good as last year.’ But this year’s team is really good, so I’m very excited about what we can do.”

Kenyon is confident in the quality of leadership she gets from Xue DiMaggio, Janelle Bohey, and Reagan Kniffen, “and Gigi is doing fabulous. Really, it is a very strong group,” the coach said during a phone interview Monday, Nov. 9.

Last week the Lady Broncos had two road matches, facing Maricopa and Dunn schools in the Santa Ynez Valley. In the Maricopa game, Coast tallied up its 10th win in the Coast Valley League, capping a perfect record in league play by winning 25-11, 25-7, 25-15.

Ahtziri Mora had 12 aces in that game and DiMaggio contributed seven kills. Kniffen had five kills, and Bohey chipped in with nine aces and five kills.

In the Dunn School game, Coast Union lost in four games 25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 25-17. Bohey had 10 aces and seven kills, and DiMaggio added five kills and three blocks. Kniffen had five kills for Coast, which ended the regular season with a 13-4 record.

Coast Union entertains the Calvary Murrieta Warriors tonight at 7 in a CIF Division 5AA playoff match. The Warriors are 10-11 overall and 6-4 in the South Valley League.

Last year, the Warriors defeated Coast Union in the quarterfinal round of the CIF playoffs in Southern California, 25-14, 25-17, 25-14.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Warriors defeated AGBU High School in its opening round, 25-11, 25-17, 25-18. The Lady Broncos had a bye.

Kenyon said she is pleased the team got a bye in Tuesday’s first round of the playoffs, so her players can be in the best health possible. She also knows she’d rather face Calvary Murrieta at home than down in Southern California, where the Warriors beat Coast handily in the third round last year.

To be successful in Thursday night’s playoff, Kenyon said, “We just need to play our game.

“We have a very, very good team, and if we go out there with everything we have, I know we’re going to play great volleyball.”

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