When the ball hit the court on the opposite side of the net last Tuesday, the Santa Monica High girls volleyball team could celebrate what it had been working toward all season: a perfect record in conference play.
But with their Ocean League title wrapped up, the Vikings are now hoping to build on their success in the postseason.
Samohi will host Lancaster in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs Tuesday at 7 p.m., and the winner will advance to play in Thursday’s round of 16.
It’s already been a standout season for the Vikings (12-4, 10-0 in the Ocean League), who dropped just two sets in all of conference play. They wrapped up the regular season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-13) sweep of El Segundo at home Nov. 3.
Samohi will try to improve on its postseason outing last year, when it fell 3-0 in the section quarterfinals at the hands of San Juan Capistrano-St. Margaret’s Episcopal.
Lancaster (15-10, 9-5 in the Golden League) heads into the postseason after tying for third place in its conference standings.
Fresh start for St. Monica
The first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs provides a clean slate for St. Monica Catholic.
The Mariners, who lost their final two games of the regular season, will be looking to keep their campaign alive when they face Thermal-Desert Mirage on the road Tuesday in a Division 4AA matchup.
Led by first-year coach Katie Charles, St. Monica (15-9-1, 6-2 in the El Camino Real League) enters the postseason after finishing in a three-way tie for first place in its conference standings with Long Beach-St. Anthony and Santa Fe Springs-St. Paul.
The Mariners could have won the league crown outright, but they dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker Nov. 2 against St. Paul before succumbing to St. Anthony in a 3-0 sweep a day later.
St. Monica reached the second round of the section playoffs last season under then-coach Cori Ueda.
The Mariners recently took third place at Brentwood School’s tournament, where they fell to Brentwood in the semifinals before topping Ridgecrest-Burroughs in the consolation title game. Opposite hitter Destiny Ramirez and junior libero Victoria Bachawati made the all-tournament team.
Tuesday’s game against Desert Mirage (19-6-1, 10-2 in the De Anza League) marks the beginning of the final playoff run for Ramirez and fellow seniors Amanda Maqueria, Savannah Cragin and Audrey Kim.
Pacifica to face Twentynine Palms
One streak ended for the Pacifica Christian girls volleyball team, but another continues.
The Seawolves weren’t able to capture a ninth-consecutive conference title, but they’re making yet another trip to the postseason
Pacifica will face Twentynine Palms in the first round of the Division 4AA playoffs at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey.
The Seawolves enter the matchup with an overall record of 13-11, including a 5-3 mark in conference play. They finished second in the Liberty League standings behind Los Angeles-Archer School for Girls, snapping their streak of eight conference titles in a row.
Under first-year coach Bronson Oliveira, a Santa Monica High School alumnus, Pacifica has the chance to reach the section quarterfinals for the ninth-straight season. Last year, the Seawolves fell at that stage in a 3-1 loss to St. Paul.
Twentynine Palms (11-10-1, 6-6 in the De Anza League) tied for third place in its conference standings this year.
Pacifica is led by senior Liz Hook, who has amassed team highs in kills (207) and blocks (57), and senior setter Georgia Twersky (446 assists).
The Seawolves have also gotten key contributions from sophomore Thalia Rakosky (107 kills and a team-high 39 serving aces) and senior Chloe DeRoon (team-high 86 digs).