The Mission Prep girls volleyball team fell to No. 3 seed Esperanza in a second-round CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA playoff match Thursday in San Luis Obispo to end its season.
The Royals rallied from a 7-1 deficit to win the second game, but in the end the Aztecs’ power at the net was too much and Esperanza won in four, 25-14, 24-26, 25-21, 25-22.
“They are a good team and we battled them the whole way, so I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Mission Prep coach Charles Fox. “They played a great match.”
Maddie Boncich led Mission Prep with 10 kills and five blocks. But it was the powerful swing of Jennifer “Boo” Laird that kept Mission Prep close. Laird finished the match with eight kills, four blocks and 18 digs.
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“I think in some of the games in the beginning we were kind of slow, but I think towards the end we pulled it through,” Mission Prep senior Noelle Laird, Jennifer’s sister, said after the final match of her high school career. “If we had kept that consistency, we would have taken them.”
Noelle had four kills and nine digs in the loss.
“We came a long way,” Fox said. “Overall this year was fantastic. We beat some really good teams.”
After defeating Royal in the first round of the playoffs, Mission Prep ends the season with a 23-7 overall record and third place in the PAC 5 with a 10-4 record.
No doubt the leader, and early favorite for Player of the Year in 2016, will be Jennifer Laird.
“It was awesome playing with my sister throughout the whole season,” Noelle said. “She works hard and she was a fighter.”
“She’s going to be a killer next season.”
Jennifer Laird finished the season fourth behind three seniors in kills in the PAC 5 and second behind a senior in digs.
“I look up to her,” Noelle said. “Even though she is my little sister, she is someone I have always looked up to and I am just so proud of her.”
With the return of Laird, Ani and Maddie Boncich and Eleri Perryman, all key contributors on this year’s team, the future looks bright for Mission Prep. The team should return 10 juniors next season.
“Next year is going to be a very strong group,” Fox said.
Coast Union 3, Calvary Murietta 0
The Broncos (14-4) continued their postseason run, winning their second-round CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA match, 25-12, 25-21, 25-23.
Janelle Bohey had 10 kills and five aces and Gigi Stoothoff added eight kills. Xue DiMaggio chipped in with five kills and four aces.
Coast Union will host a quarterfinal match Saturday against the winner of the Nuview Bridge-California Lutheran game.
Templeton 3, Webb 0
Lauren Ralston had seven kills and three aces as No. 3 seeded Templeton defeated Webb in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A playoffs.
Katie Bolts added eight kills and five digs in the 25-17, 25-13, 25-16 win.
Templeton will face the winner of the match between Bell Gardens and La Sierra in a quarterfinal Saturday, and will likely be on the road.
San Luis Obispo 3, Maranatha 0
San Luis Obispo defeated Maranatha 25-14, 25-13, 25-18 to advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs.
Merissa Branchart had 27 assists and 14 digs and Morgan Day and Beverly Lincoln had eight kills each.
The Tigers will travel to Chadwick for a quarterfinal match Saturday.
Woodcrest Christian 3, Nipomo 0
The Nipomo High girls volleyball team ended its turnaround season Thursday night with a 3-0 loss to Woodcrest Christian (22-5), the No. 2 seed in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A playoffs.
Nanna Lemons had 25 digs for the Titans (14-11) in the 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 loss. Nipomo had beaten Wilson 25-10, 25-18, 25-19 in the first round of the playoffs earlier this week, and reached the second round of the playoffs just one season removed from finishing last in the Los Padres League.
“That’s a pretty good turnaround,” head coach Andrea Ragan said. “The girls played really hard, they put up a really good fight for the last game. I was proud of them for ending the season like they did.”
Kylie Mendez had 11 digs for Nipomo, and Gwen Menane and Hope Goodall had five kills each.
Laguna Beach 3, Arroyo Grande 2
The Eagles lost 24-26, 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12, in their CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA playoff game.
Emily Sonny had 21 kills, five blocks and three aces.
Ashlyn Herlihy had 19 kills and three blocks and Sam Oliver added five kills. The Eagles finish the year at 22-6.