Girls’ volleyball soars through regular season

Having finished the regular season with a perfect league record, the girls’ varsity volleyball team enters the CIF playoffs tomorrow on a 12-game winning streak.

The Wolverines received a first round bye in CIF. They will play the winner of last night’s matchup between Brea Olinda and Los Osos tomorrow in the second round at 7 p.m. in Taper Gym.

The team capped off the regular season last Thursday with a victory over Notre Dame on Senior Night, clinching the league title. This was the team’s first time going undefeated in league play since 2002, finishing 10-0 in league and 22-4 overall.

“It was really bittersweet to play my last league game after having been on this team for four years,” middle blocker Cathryn Quinn ’08 said.

Quinn, one of 10 seniors and a leader on the team, has committed to Princeton for next year.

“Princeton has been my first choice for about the last year because it combines academics and athletics perfectly for me,” she said.

Before the winning streak began, the team traveled to San Jose where it participated in the Archbishop Mitty tournament Sept. 28 and 29. The squad reached the finals, where it lost to Santa Barbara, but the real highlight for the team came in the tournament’s semifinals. The Wolverines defeated Archbishop Mitty high school, ranked second in the nation, in three straight games.

“It was an incredible feeling to beat them at their gym in three games and kick them out of their own tournament,” Quinn said.

The Oct. 2 victory over Alemany marked the beginning of league play and the team’s 12-game winning streak. Over the course of the streak, the team won two matches against Flintridge Sacred Heart, a squad widely recognized as the Wolverine’s toughest competition in the Mission League.

“Usually we tie for first place in the Mission League with [Flintridge Sacred Heart], but we had a mindset of becoming league champions so we put everything we had into those matches,” middle blocker Krystle Higgins ’09 said. The second victory at Flintridge on Oct. 25 was one of the Wolverines’ closest matches of the season, with the team winning in five games.

“That was a really tough match. Both teams played really well,” head coach Adam Black said. “Marin [Dennis ’08] came up with a lot of big time digs in that fourth and fifth game when our backs were up against the wall.”

 Black gave credit to the contributions of the entire team, but he said that outside hitter Megan Norton ’10 has been “one of the top players throughout the whole season.” Norton, the only sophomore on the senior-heavy team, tied her career high of 26 kills in the Oct. 25 match at Flintridge.

A setback for the team has been KC Kanoff’s ’08 ankle injury early in the season. Recently, she began practicing with the team and hopes to return for CIF.