Revenge is the theme of the girls' volleyball state playoffs tonight when five Southern California regional champions will be crowned.
Top-seeded Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (27-3) will play host to Temecula Chaparral (30-5) in Division I, a rematch of Mira Costa's victory Nov. 20 in the Southern Section Division I-A final. Top-seeded Huntington Beach Edison (25-6) has a home date with second-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei (27-4) in a rematch of the Division II-AA final won by Edison.
"The revenge factor can be a big motivator, and they're definitely going to have that," said Edison Coach Trent Jackson, whose team has split two matches with Mater Dei this season. "Our job is to keep our momentum."
Mira Costa has the most momentum. The Mustangs have won 21 consecutive matches and have not lost a game in seven postseason matches. They have given up 20 points or more in only four of their 21 games and have held opponents to 15 or fewer seven times.
"Our players are really getting into a rhythm," Mira Costa Coach DaeLea Aldrich said.
Top-seeded Los Angeles Marymount (31-8) is seeking its fifth consecutive trip to the state finals when it plays second-seeded San Diego Parker in the Division IV final at Marymount.
The Sailors, four-time defending state champions, defeated Parker in the second round last year, but have been living dangerously lately. In two of their last three matches, they have dropped the first two games before winning in five.
-- Peter Yoon
The 25th Brea Olinda tournament tipped off the winter sports season Monday and continues today with more first- and second-round games. With seven of the 16 teams ranked in The Times' top 25, the highlight today is a 7:30 p.m. second-round game pitting No. 9 Brea Olinda against No. 21 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde.
Brea scored the first 15 points and defeated No. 25 Chino Don Lugo, 51-44, behind the 28 points of sophomore Jeanette Pohlen on Monday.
Rancho Verde opened a 25-point lead in the first half and defeated No. 15 Carson, 61-40. Kayanna Nichols made seven of nine three-point shots and scored 23.
The tournament ends Saturday.
-- Martin Henderson
South Torrance Coach LaMont Henry said Monday that he had appealed the school's decision to fire him for failing to properly supervise his team during an on-campus sleepover that resulted in players allegedly drinking alcohol and vandalizing property.
Henry, the Spartan coach since 1990, said players sneaked out after coaches fell asleep during a "midnight madness" practice Nov. 13.
The players involved are facing suspensions from the team, and school and local police are investigating the vandalism.
-- Peter Yoon