San Clemente, proving itself to be one of the county's top girls' volleyball teams, took the lead in the race for the South Coast League title with a 15-8, 15-5, 16-14 victory over Mater Dei Tuesday night at San Clemente.
San Clemente, No. 3 in The Times Orange County rankings, took the first two games easily from No. 2 Mater Dei before falling behind, 12-5, in the third.
Sparked by some incredible defensive plays by Kate Metzger, the Tritons battled back to tie the score, 13-13. A kill by Maureen Thompson gave the Monarchs the lead, 14-13, but the Tritons scored the last three points of the match on a Monarch hitting error, a block by Paige Spaulding and Whitney McAtee and an ace by Metzger.
San Clemente, 8-1 and 3-0 in league, has never won a league title, and has not advanced to the Southern Section playoffs in 12 years.