Mira Costa girls volleyball Coach Dae Lea Aldrich is not too discouraged that her team's 54-match unbeaten streak is over. After all, the Mustangs had gone two seasons without a loss, won two state titles in four years and appeared in the finals four times in five seasons.
Aldrich smiled broadly when she accepted her second-place plaque after Mira Costa lost to Hueneme of Oxnard in the state finals Saturday at Cal State Fullerton.
"If I had to choose them all to lose, it would be this one," she said after Hueneme dethroned the Mustangs, 7-15, 15-10, 4-15, 15-9, 15-6. "When we won the (CIF 5-A) title, we put all our effort and energy into it. Second place in the state is wonderful."
She continued, "In life being No. 2 is OK and maybe God wanted us to learn that," Aldrich said. "The only tears I have is because I'm going to miss these kids. They were the best."
It was especially tough for the Mustangs considering that they had defeated the Vikings for the CIF title on Nov. 13 in four games. But co-captain Megan McCallister echoed Aldrich's attitude: "We've won so many championships together, so many tournaments, that it's not like one match is going to ruin that. One match can't knock out four excellent years."
Mira Costa finished 25-1.
Honor Roll: McCallister of Mira Costa was named the CIF 5-A volleyball player of the year, heading the All-CIF girls teams. She is joined on the first team by teammates Holly McPeak, Karrie Trieschman and Lisa Arce. Heather Bova was named to the second team.
In 4-A, Terry Lauchner of Torrance earned first-team honors and teammate Julie Jamile is on the second team. In 1-A, St. Bernard's Julie Glenn was named to the second team. In the Small Schools Division, Chadwick's Karin Kaufman and Jenny Lefsteadt were named to the first team.
In boys water polo, Erik Albertson of El Segundo was named the 2-A player of the year. Also named to the first team were El Segundo's David Nilson and Redondo's Raul Rodriguez. Steve Van Pelt of El Segundo was named to the second team. Jason Brown of Mira Costa was a third-team choice in 3-A.
Picking up where they left off last season, Torrance and Bishop Montgomery are the pre-season No. 1 selections in the CIF girls soccer coaches polls. Torrance, which was undefeated until the playoffs last season and returns scoring star Shannon Maddock, is rated the favorite in the 4-A Division. South Torrance is ranked fifth. Bishop Montgomery is top-rated in 3-A.
In the first boys 4-A poll, Simi Valley is ranked No. 1, with Santa Monica third, Rolling Hills fifth, Culver City sixth, South Torrance seventh and Bishop Montgomery ninth.
Around the Horn: Marie Stielow, the Lawndale native who helped lead Idaho State University to its first appearance in the NCAA women's volleyball playoffs, was named most valuable player in the Mountain West Athletic Conference Tournament. Stielow, a senior middle blocker and hitter, led the tournament in hitting and hitting percentage as well as digs and digs average. Idaho State was eliminated in the first round by defending champion Pacific. . . . When Mike Wnek comes off the bench for the Biola University basketball team, the Eagles have an all-in-the-family back court. Wnek, a senior who transferred from Gonzaga, joins brother Patrick, a sophomore, on the floor. The two saw considerable time together in last week's victory at Dominguez Hills. Another Bishop Montgomery graduate, Romantle Octave, a returning starter, played several games for Biola but quit the team last week for undisclosed reasons.