Senior Kaity Edwards led Marymount with 17 kills in Tuesday's sweep… (Steve Galluzzo / For the…)
Ten days after capturing its first CIF Southern Section Division 1AA title, the Los Angeles Marymount girls volleyball team is on the verge of an even more historic milestone.
The Sailors moved to within one victory of their first Division I state crown with a shockingly swift 25-16, 25-18, 25-14 sweep of Redondo Union in the Southern California Regional finals Tuesday night and will look for redemption against Sacramento St. Francis in the state championship match Saturday night at Concordia University.
Marymount fell to Palo Alto in five sets in last year's state final and the Sailors have been yearning for a return trip ever since. The top-seeded Sailors (36-5) needed five sets to upset Redondo in the section finals, but took just 75 minutes to dispatch the Sea Hawks (37-5) in the rematch.
"We are so focused on winning state--that's been our goal all season," said Sailors middle blocker Ashlie Williams, who had four kills and two blocks, "Last year we were excited when we beat Los Alamitos in this round and we came out a little flat in the [state] finals. So we're fully aware there is still one more to win."
Marymount built early leads in each set and neutralized the Sea Hawks' top hitter Skylar Dykstra, who finished with seven kills. Kaity Edwards paced the Sailors' attack with 17 kills, Kathleen Harris had 13 kills without a hitting error and Tori Jasuta added nine kills and nine digs.
"Our main focus was our side of the net, we knew what we needed to do,"
Harris said. "We didn't make as many mistakes this time. We blocked better and we served better. Overall, it was one of our best matches."
Since taking over the program in 1998, Marymount Coach Cari Klein has navigated the Sailors to nine section titles, seven regional crowns and five Division IV state championships. She called Tuesday's effort one of the cleanest her team has ever played. The Sailors hardly let a ball drop and racked up an astounding 75 digs.
Marymount won back-to-back Division 1A titles before moving up to the highest division this fall.
"They got the momentum and kept it all night," said Redondo Coach Tommy Chaffins, whose team upset San Diego Section champion Torrey Pines in the semifinals last Saturday. "Skylar [Dykstra] made great hitting choices, but their defense was superior to ours."
Riverside King upset Carlsbad La Costa Canyon in the Division II regional final. Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World fell to San Diego Cathedral Catholic in Division III, San Diego Parker topped Saddleback Valley Christian in Division IV and Escondido Calvin Christian lost to Vista Tri-City Christian in Division V.