Redondo, Mira Costa prepare for tough girls volleyball tournament action
by Randy Angel
Although Bay League competition begins this week, the girls volleyball teams from Mira Costa and Redondo have their eyes set on two high-caliber tournaments.
Redondo (10-1) will play at Leuzinger on Thursday before leaving for Las Vegas for the illustrious Durango Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday.
Redondo, ranked No. 4 in the nation in the MaxPreps poll, will be at full strength when the Sea Hawks face stiff competition in the 64-team Durango tournament which also includes Walton (Marietta, GA), Assumption (Louisville, KY) and Mater Dei, the top three-ranked teams in the country.
Mater Dei (No. 1, Div. 1) handed Redondo (No. 2, Div. 1) its only loss of the season with a 3-1 home victory on Sept. 5.
“We are looking forward to having our first practice with all of our starters this week,” Redondo coach Tommy Chaffins said. “For a variety of reasons, luckily none of them injuries, we haven’t been able thus far to practice with all of our players so we can work on some things we need to clean up before going to Durango. Our team has tremendous depth and that depth has been called upon almost every match already this season.”
Redondo finished second in the tournament last season, falling to Assumption in the championship match. Assumption has played in the finals five times this decade winning four titles.
Chaffins, whose teams have always been tested early in the season, is optimistic about the Sea Hawks’ chances this year with team chemistry a plus.
“Were going to focus on getting a little better each day, while enjoying the time with one another,” Chaffins said. “Our team has spectacular chemistry and a healthy respect for one another. The girls really like being around each other on and off the court.”
Redondo is coming off a hard-fought 23-25, 25-16, 18-25, 27-17, 16-14 win against visiting St. Teresa’s Academy of Kansas City, MO, on Saturday.
Leading the the way for the Sea Hawks were Jasmine Davis (19 kills), Kami Miner (15 kills, 17 assists) and Nalani Iosia (17 digs.) Laila Ricks and Jody Smith contributed with 8 and 7 kills, respectively.
Following the Durango tournament, Redondo will focus on winning its seventh Bay League title this decade (Redondo and Mira Costa tied for 1st in 2015 and 2010).
“We know Mira Costa and Coach Cam Green will be ready for us in the annual ‘Game of the Year’ in the South Bay (Sept. 25) with most likely the Bay League title on the line when our two teams meet up,” Chaffins said. “It’s always an exciting, jam packed, emotional battle that brings out both fan bases in large numbers.”
Mira Costa holds a 10-4 record and three-match winning streak after falling to Vista Murrieta (No. 3, Div. 1) in the Gold Bracket semifinals of the Dave Mohs Tournament.
The Mustangs defeated Village Christian and host La Costa Canyon before entering Bay League play with a home win against Palos Verdes on Tuesday. The Mustangs play at Peninsula Thursday and host Leuzinger next Tuesday before competing in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, AZ, Sept. 20-22.