Semifinals capsules, all matches start at 7 p.m. unless noted
Corona del Mar (Pacific Coast League champ, 28-6) at No. 1 Redondo Union (Bay League champ, 34-3)
Outlook: The new division hasn’t slowed the Sea Kings, who are back in the semifinals after going the finals last season in 1A. CdM swept Temecula Valley and Lakewood to advance to the quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Mater Dei. Behind 24 kills from Hayley Hodson and 15 from Alexis Cage, CdM eliminated Mater Dei in four. The reward is a match against top-seeded Redondo. All you have to know about Redondo is that the last match it lost was back on Sept. 15 (29 consecutive victories). Redondo defeated Dana Hills in five in the quarterfinals, behind a 27-kill, 12-dig performance from Skylar Dykstra. There is a head-to-head this season between the teams: Redondo defeated CdM in two in the Durango Fall Classic, Sept. 15.
No. 2 Marymount (Sunshine League champ, 31-5) at Tesoro (South Coast, No. 2, 28-5)
Outlook: Tesoro is making its second consecutive CIF-SS semifinals appearance, but the first in 1AA. The Titans were in 2AA last season. The Sailors are also making their first semifinals appearance in 1AA. Last season, Marymount competed in 1A. The Titans swept Chaparral, defeated Santa Margarita in four and swept Long Beach Poly in the semifinals. Sarah Krufka and Makensie Bates had 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Marymount swept Orange Lutheran in the quarterfinals, led by Kaity Edwards with 17 kills and 15 from Tori Jasuta. Marymount coach Cari Klein and Tesoro’s Rich Polk both attended Irvine High together.
Capistrano Valley (Sea View League champ, 27-7) at El Dorado (Century League champ, 18-13)
Outlook: Welcome the match between the upset kings of the division. El Dorado defeated the top-seed St. Lucy’s of Glendora in the quarterfinals, 16-25, 27-25, 15-25, 25-18, 15-12. Meanwhile, the Cougars took down fourth-seeded Laguna Beach, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19. El Dorado has never reached a final. Capistrano Valley has lost the two times it has made it that far (1996 and 1998). The Cougars defeated Esperanza and Redlands in four before facing Laguna Beach. El Dorado swept Cajon in the first round, but has had to go five in each of the last two matches. The winner will face the winner of the Bishop Montgomery-La Salle match in the finals.
No. 1 Whittier Christian (Olympic League champ, 33-3) at Yorba Linda (Empire League, No. 1, 24-7)
Outlook: The Mustangs, fresh off of their five-set victory over No. 4 Serrano, gets a rematch against the top-seeded Heralds. The teams met in the Division 2 finals of the Dave Mohs Championships, Sept 24. In that match, Yorba Linda won the first set, but Whittier Christian won the next two sets in the 2 of 3 format, including 15-13 in the third set. Yorba Linda, in just its three year as a varsity team, rallied to defeat Serrano in five, winning the fourth and fifth sets. The Heralds are no strangers to this time of the year. Whittier Christian was a finalist last year, losing to Downey. Whittier Christian dropped the first set against Mayfair Saturday, but won the next three to take the match. Deanna Blaine had 19 kills and 18 digs. The winner will face the winner of the Chadwick-Pasadena Poly match in the finals.
No. 1 St. Margaret’s (Academy League champ, 24-3) at Aquinas of San Bernardino (Ambassador League, No. 2, 24-1), 6 p.m.
Outlook: The top-seeded Tartans appear to be a team on a mission to get back to the finals. The Tartans dropped just two sets in league play. In the playoffs, they have swept their first three opponents (Montebello, Gabrielino and Templeton). In the three matches, Gigi Morally has tallied 44 kills and Peighton McRobie has 36 kills. Last year, St. Margaret’s lost in 4AA finals to Sage Hill. The Falcons have won nine consecutive matches. They opened the playoffs with a sweep of Garden Grove, followed by a five-set victory over Santa Ynez and a four-set victory over fourth-seeded San Gabriel in the quarterfinals.
No. 3 Sage Hill (Academy League, No. 2, 19-7) at No. 2 Ontario Christian (Ambassador League, co-champ, 20-5)
Outlook: The bottom half of the bracket played out to form with the second and third seeds advancing to the semifinals. Sage Hill, the defending 4AA champion, swept Western Christian and Rosemead, but had to survive a fight-set thriller against La Sierra of Riverside in the quarterfinals. Sage Hill won the first two sets and won the fifth set, 15-10. Halland McKenna had 21 digs, 10 kills and six aces in the victory. This will be the second consecutive road match for the Lighting. The Knights have won their last eight matches, seven in three-set sweeps. Ontario Christian swept the Academy League’s Crean Lutheran in the quarterfinals, Saturday. Carly DeHoog had 15 kills in the victory.
No. 1 Saddleback Valley Christian (San Joaquin League, champ, 27-4) at San Jacinto (Mountain Pass, No. 2, 21-10)
Outlook: The Warriors had a first-round bye, but has come out of that break focused, sweeping their first two playoff opponents (Don Lugo and Ocean View). Since a loss to St. Margaret’s, Sept. 26, SVC has a record of 21-2. Chelsea Duhs and Heidi Dyer had 11 kills apiece in the three-set victory over Ocean View in the quarterfinals. San Jacinto upset fourth-seeded Shadow Hills of Indio in the five sets in the quarters.
No. 2 Hemet (Mountain Pass League champ, 21-5) at No. 3 Loara (Golden West League champ, 27-0-1)
Outlook: The Saxons are in the midst of a magical run, entering the semifinals undefeated. Loara swept Connelly in the quarterfinals, 25-17, 25-21, 25-23. After a first-round bye, Loara defeated Big Bear in four and swept Connelly. The Saxons have only dropped eight sets all season. Hemet won the 4A title last season. The Bulldogs have won their last six matches, including a three-set sweep over Twentynine Palms and a four-set victory over Colony of Ontario.
No. 3 Orangewood Academy (Express League champ, 20-4) at No. 2 Temecula Prep of Winchester (Majestic League champ, 24-0)
Outlook: Both teams had first round byes. Orangewood Academy has swept Baker Valley and Nuview Bridge of Nuevo to advance to the semifinals. Celeste Rivero had 11 kills in the victory over Nuview Bridge. This is the first time that the Spartans have advanced to the semifinals. The Spartans have won their last eight matches. The Patriots have lost just five sets all season. The winner of the match will face the winner of the St. Monica Academy of Pasadena-Riverside Christian in the finals Saturday morning.
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