Cambrian: Sports

Coast Union wins playoff opener, falls in quarterfinal

Senior out hitter Xue DiMaggio had five kills and four aces in Coast’s 3-0 playoff win over Calvary Murietta.
Senior out hitter Xue DiMaggio had five kills and four aces in Coast’s 3-0 playoff win over Calvary Murietta. Special to The Cambrian

Coast Union’s terrific volleyball season — in which the team conquered the Coast Valley League 10-0 and beat the Calvary Murietta Warriors in the second round of the playoffs — ended suddenly Saturday, Nov. 14, in Southern California.

The gritty, hard-working Lady Broncos were over-matched against California Lutheran, falling in three games, 25-10, 25-19, 25-17 in the CIF Division 5AA quarterfinals. Janelle Bohey led the team with seven kills in that match.

“I knew they’d be good, because that’s what you get in the quarterfinals; you get some really good teams,” Coast Union head coach Pam Kenyon said. “They had a bigger block than we anticipated and hit with a little more pace. It kind of had us on our heels a little bit.”

That defeat came after the Lady Broncos entertained local fans were with a thrilling 3-0 home win over Calvary Murietta on Thursday night, Nov. 12. That victory was made extra sweet by the fact that the Warriors had sent the Lady Broncos packing with a dominating win in last year’s CIF quarterfinal match at Murietta.

Our seniors were standouts all season long. They carried us for most of the season. I’m super pleased with their performance in particular.

Pam Kenyon, Coast Union head volleyball coach

Turning the tables on the Warriors this season seemed like it was going to be a breeze in the first game, in which Coast roared out in front and never looked back, winning 25-12.

It was a far different story in the second game, as the Warriors jumped out in front by nine points before Coach Pam Kenyon’s players got on a roll of their own and came roaring back to win, 25-21.

“It was a knock-down, drag-out fight,” Coast Union coach Pam Kenyon said after the match. “I really enjoyed the comeback we had in the second game.”

The proverbial pendulum swung back and forth throughout the third game, keeping fans on the edge of their bleacher seats. It looked like the team with the momentum at the close of the game would be the victor and it played out that way.

“We did a lot of hard work in the third game. I wish that we could have put the ball away in that third game,” she said, noting that a few unforced errors kept the Warriors in that game. “But they were a good team, and good teams force you to make mistakes.”

Bohey (10 kills), Gigi Stoothoff (eight kills), and Xue DiMaggio (five kills and four aces) — with sturdy play from the supporting cast — led Coast to the second-round win.

Assistant coach Dennis White said having a bye earlier in the week was a “blessing in disguise” because it game powerful mid hitter Stoothoff an extra couple days to heal her foot injury.

White also noted that Calvary Murietta brought 15 players and moved reserves in and out to keep players fresh. Even though Coast had just seven players, the Lady Broncos were well-conditioned and held up well.

Kenyon credited her seniors — Diana Cisneros, Reagan Kniffen, Bohey and DiMaggio — for the excellent season: “I thought they were phenomenal. Our seniors were standouts all season long. They carried us for most of the season. I’m super pleased with their performance in particular.”

Juniors Emily McAvoy, Stoothoff and Ahtziri Mora will return to lead the 2016 team.

This report is special to The Cambrian.

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