It was a first-round playoff match Tuesday , but sure felt like a later-round match for the Laguna Beach High girls' volleyball team.
The Breakers (17-6) rallied from a loss in the first set to win a five-set match against Chino Hills, defeating the Huskies, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 15-10, in the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs.
The win advanced the Breakers (17-6) to a second-round date Thursday against Louisville of Woodland Hills. The score of Thursday's game wasn't available at press time. The winner advances to a quarterfinal match Saturday .
Chino Hills, which received an at-large berth to the playoffs out of the Sierra League, ended the year 18-12.
"That's the best first-round team we've played in the playoffs, far and away," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said. "That's a good volleyball team. They served great and made us fight all night."
Alyse Ford recorded 34 kills and seven digs. Libero Francie Holte had 20 digs, Julia Goggin had eight kills and 10 digs, and setter Sevana Drovak had 45 set assists and eight digs.
"I thought Sevana (Drovak) played with a lot of grit and toughness out there, and Francie Holte was absolutely outstanding. She had a lot of key digs and played in control."
Laguna held leads of 17-10, in the first set, and 18-11, in the second set. The teams split the first two sets.
"Up until now, we weren't giving up long runs of points in games," Stewart said. "We did in this game. That's something we can't let happen in the playoffs, and expect to win."
Laguna's march through the CIF Southern Section playoffs came to an end Wednesday in the Division 2 semifinals where the visiting fifth-ranked Breakers were eliminated by No. 2-seed Arcadia, 13-5.
Natasha Keces (6-3), Kira Hamilton (6-3) and Stephanie Tat (6-1) scored wins in singles action. The Breakers' top doubles team of Chloe Mansour/Dominique Willette won two of three sets (1-6, 6-1, 6-4).
Mansour and Willette, who have had an outstanding season, now have a 44-2 record.
Laguna, which won the Orange Coast League title, advanced to the semifinal round after knocking off host Valencia of Valencia, 12-6, in a quarterfinal match Monday . Mansour/Willette swept (6-4, 6-1, 6-0) in doubles and in singles action, 1 Brooke Michaels (6-2, 4-6, 6-2), No. 2 Hamilton (6-3, 6-3, 4-6) and No. 3 Bailey Jaeger (6-2, 5-7, 6-1) each won two of three sets.
Mansour-Willette also earned a sweep (6-0, 6-2, 7-5) on Nov. 2 to help get Laguna past visiting Santa Monica, 10-8, in a second-round match.
Laguna will learn Sunday if it has qualified for the inaugural CIF Regional Tournament. The 32-team event includes teams from the CIF Southern, Los Angeles, Central and San Diego sections. The tournament starts next Tuesday .
The CIF Individuals Tournament starts Nov. 19. Qualifying for the event from Laguna in singles play is OCL champ Michaels and Jaeger. Qualifying in doubles play is OCL champs Mansour/Willette, and Katelyn Bo/Sarah Nederlander.