Last year, Pacifica Christian experienced heartache
and sadness at the end of the CIF Southern Section Division 4A championship
match with Rolling Hills Prep. This year, the Seawolves were on the end of
another set of feelings as they trumped Laguna Blanca for the CIF Southern Section 4A volleyball
This time those feelings were of joy and excitement as the
Seawolves defeated the team that beaten them earlier in the season in four
sets, dropping Laguna Blanca, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25 and 25-19.
“I think we came out with fire,” said Maile Lane. “We have
experience in the finals and we know what that is like what Laguna Blanca is
feeling right now to lose. We used that to motivate us, to play well and to
play as a team.”
After having a dominant season last year, the Seawolves
entered the contest as the team to beat. Rolling Hills Prep defeated Pacifica Christian
in five sets, snatching the CIF title away from the Seawolves, and snatching
away their dreams of winning a title. The Seawolves certainly were reminded of
that feeling when they went up against a top-ranked Laguna Blanca team on
Lane said the team played hard for those who didn’t a chance
of experiencing winning the championship.
“We had to do those people justice, to show we deserved it,”
Sometimes the road to
winning a title gets complicated with major obstacles to climb. Coach Julie
Bennett’s team did that and more when they went out and beat Laguna Blanca at
Pacifica Christian had to defeat Cate, a team that had beaten
them earlier this season, just to get to the title round. Next on the docket
for the Seawolves was to take out Laguna Blanca, which had whipped them in
three sets early in the season as well.
The Seawolves won the
title by taking it right at Laguna Blanca, winning the first two sets with aggressive
play at the net. It started with the Seawolves’ top players Lane and Grace
Minchin leading the way. Both Lane and Minchin were dominant in their play. Right from the beginning of the first set,
Pacifica Christian was the most aggressive and animated team.
For most of the
afternoon, the Owls couldn’t match the energy that the Seawolves were putting
out. More or less, that turned out to be the difference between winning and
losing. And that was pretty much was the
tone-setter for the afternoon. The Owls came back to win the third sets,
setting up a tense fourth set. If the Owls had won the fourth set, the outcome
could have been up in the air for a fifth and deciding one.
Lane said team wasn’t about to let that happen.
“I knew we were going to come back and win the fourth game,”
Lane said. “I knew we were going to do it. I had no doubt about it at all. Most
of us were there last year, and we knew we could not let that happen.”
The win brought on great joy for Bennett, in her first year
as head coach.
“It feels fantastic,” Bennett said. “The girls worked so
hard and really, truly deserve this. I’m really proud of them."
Bennett said last year’s heartbreaker was an extra motivator
for her team.
“Since the beginning of the season, we’ve been talking about
to remember that feeling of what it felt like to be there and being so close
and not to win,” she said.
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