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La Reina Gives Laguna Beach No Quarter in the Semifinals

November 15, 2000|MITCH POLIN

Suddenly the quarterfinal jinx seems like ancient history.

If anything, it was the Laguna Beach High girls' volleyball team that appeared as if it hadn't been in this position before.

La Reina defeated Laguna Beach, 15-7, 12-15, 15-7, 15-5, in a Division IV-AA semifinal Tuesday night at La Reina High.

Except for a few fleeting moments, the Regents (25-0) controlled the match and qualified for the first championship match in school history.

Laguna Beach (15-6) snapped La Reina's streak of winning 70 consecutive games by taking the second game of the match.

But that only served to inspire the Regents.

"It was the first game we've dropped in [70] games and we weren't too happy about it," said middle blocker Jennifer Ryan. "We wanted to show them which team belonged in this gym."

La Reina responded by opening up a 12-4 lead in the third game and coasting to a 15-7 victory.

Laguna Beach, which lost to Notre Dame Academy in the Division IV-AA final last season, trailed, 5-4, in the fourth game when the Regents rolled off 10 of the final 11 points.

La Reina won behind the leadership of Ryan, a senior who finished with 26 kills, 17 digs and five blocks.

Outside hitter Ashlie Hain had 14 digs, 11 kills and 35 assists, and outside hitter Lacy Ertel had 13 kills and 10 digs.

Coach Don Hyatt of La Reina didn't even want to think about who the Regents would play in the division final.

They play top-seeded Marymount on Friday or Saturday at Cypress College.

After watching his teams lose in the quarterfinals five of the previous six seasons, Hyatt said there is a different feeling this time.

"I don't care who it is," Hyatt said. "We feel we can match up against anyone."

Added Ryan, "Everyone's here to prove that we're not just another small school. We want to show we can play with anybody."

The Regents made their point in resounding fashion.

Brittany Wood had 14 kills and Sarah Salem added 13 for Laguna Beach.

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