Mira Costa girls keep their beach volleyball winning streak alive
by Randy Angel
No matter what the sport, a winning streak of 98 is a tremendous accomplishment, but the girls on Mira Costa’s beach volleyball are focusing on adding one more this season.
The top-seeded Mustangs continued their winning ways Saturday with wins over Chaminade, Palisades Charter and Laguna Beach to claim their seventh straight Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League championship.
Mira Costa will attempt to win its third consecutive California State Championship on Saturday at North Beach in Santa Monica.
The girls on Mira Costa’s team didn’t seem to miss a beat when longtime coach Eric Fonoimoana announced his plans to leave prior to the season. Fonoimoana led the Mustangs to an 87-0 record, won six Southern Pacific Girls IBVL titles and two back-to-back IBVL girls state championships before his decision to move on to the collegiate level at USC.
Nancy Mason Reynolds, Mira Costa’s first head coach in 2012, returned to lead a new generation of players.
Reynolds has coached numerous AVP and FIVB top teams and players, including 2-time Olympic medalist April Ross, Olympian-Nicole Branagh, Angie Akers, Whitney Pavlik, Jenny Kropp, Geena Urango and Angela Bensed.
Prior to coaching, Reynolds competed on the AVP and FIVB Tours where she piled up over 30 top-four finishes and several international medals.
“It’s been a total team effort this season,” Reynolds said. “We have some young girls who are very talented and push the upperclassmen every day in practice.
“Olivia Bakos and Kate Reilly have been outstanding under pressure and have been true leaders. Rochelle Scott is the lone senior in the starting lineup and she has improved tremendously this season.”
They also have a new assistant coach this season in Karissa Cook, who was the assistant coach at Stanford for three seasons. Cook, a former setter at Stanford, All-American and National Pairs Finalist at Hawaii, is also currently playing on the AVP Tour.
Redondo defeated Westlake before losing to Laguna Beach in the quarterfinals. Palos Verdes dropped its opener to Santa Monica while Bishop Montgomery lost to Thousand Oaks.