Keeping its reign atop the Orange Coast League girls' volleyball standings has been a season-long goal for Laguna Beach. Heading into the final week of league play, the Breakers have a tight hold on the top spot and have showed no signs of relinquishing that crown.
Laguna took another step toward a repeat title Tuesday by sweeping visiting Estancia, 25-15 25-12, 25-21. The win put the Breakers (13-5) at 7-0 in league.
Laguna played a league match Thursday at Calvary Chapel, but the score wasn't available at press time. A victory over the Eagles would clinch no worse than a tie for the league title for the Breakers.
Alyse Ford had 18 kills, Julia Goggin 10 digs and Sevana Drovak 27 assists Tuesday.
"The first time we played them, the match was closer than I anticipated," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said of a Sept. 27 league match against the Eagles, which Laguna also won in a sweep. "This time, we came out and played more focused and controlled the first two sets. I liked our efficiency."
The Breakers took part Saturday in the four-match Steve Lewis Invitational at Lakewood High. They faced Long Beach Poly and finished strong against the Jackrabbits to come away with a 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 victory.
Laguna went on a 10-1 run to close out the first set to get a big comeback win. The Breakers scored the final five points in set two for the win, and came back from an eight-point deficit in the third set, which they finished off with a 7-2 run. Ford had 20 kills to lead the victory.
"At the beginning of the year, when we were playing the Corona del Mars and the Newports, we weren't playing well at the end of games, and not finishing sets," Stewart said. "It was nice to go on the road into that environment Saturday, hang around with Poly, and win all three sets.
Boys' Water Polo
The Breakers clinched another Orange Coast League championship Wednesday by taking down host Godinez, 22-3. Duncan Lynde, Nolan Del Toro and Rian Atherton each scored four goals, and Jack Dodson and Caleb Scott both scored three times.
In a nonleague match Monday between teams ranked in the Division 2 top 10, No. 2 Laguna won, 11-6, against No. 5 Murrieta Valley. The Breakers took a 7-2 halftime lead and were led in scoring by Riley Thomas' four goals. Scott and Cade Baldridge both scored twice and Maxx McCarter had 13 saves.
The Breakers, who have won nine straight and have climbed to No. 2 in Division 2, face another tough challenge Friday when they go to Pomona Pitzer College for a 4 p.m. nonleague match against seventh-ranked Damien. The Breakers defeated the Spartans in CIF division championship matches the past two years.
The Breakers entered the week on the verge of another undefeated run in Orange Coast League play. On Tuesday, they won 108 of 125 games against Godinez to claim an 18-0 victory. Laguna (13-5) is now 8-0 in league with two league matches remaining. They play a 3 p.m. match Friday at Calvary Chapel.
In a nonleague match Monday at Laguna, the Breakers, ranked fifth in Division 2, were edged, 10-8, by Santa Margarita. The Eagles are ranked 10th in Division 1.
Laguna's No. 1 doubles team of Chloe Mansour and Ashley Shelton won all three of their sets (6-4, 7-6, 6-4), and the No. 3 team of Madeline Loomis and Stephanie Tat won two of three (6-2, 3-6, 6-1).
The Breakers picked up a league win Oct. 11 by besting host Costa Mesa, 231-310, at Mesa Linda Golf Course in Costa Mesa. Jackie McMahon was the low scorer for Laguna (5-8, 5-4 in league) at 39.
Each player's nine-hold score from the OCL four-way match Oct. 11 also counted as the first-round score for each player in the Orange Coast League Tournament. The 12 players with the lowest scores from each league team made the cut (46 score) and moved on to the league finals, which started Monday at Mesa Linda. McMahon, Mary Kate Quellmalz (40) and Leslie Dwight (42) made the cut for Laguna.
At the 18-hole, par-70 league final Monday, the top four golfers with the lowest score qualified for the upcoming CIF Southern Section Individuals.
McMahon, Laguna's team captain, finished in third place and secured a spot at CIF Individuals. The junior shot a 39 on the back nine holes to finish with an overall score of 90.
The Laguna boys' and girls' teams were idle last week. The Breakers compete Friday at the Mt. SAC Invitational in Walnut.