Local prep athletes honored as All-CIF selections
By Randy Angel
West Torrance (30-3) made its first appearance in the CIF-SS softball finals in school history, building a four-run lead and held on for a 6-4 victory over Redlands East Valley for the Division 3 title.
Jason Belcher was named Coach of the Year and was joined by Player of the Year senior Mailee Newman who played pitcher and infielder for the Warriors.
Senior catcher Becca Chung was named to the All-CIF team.
In Division 2, North Torrance senior pitcher Kyndra Marzorini was selected to the All-CIF team despite the Saxons dropping a 1-0 second-round game in eight innings to Laguna Hills.
Also earning All-CIF honors was South Torrance freshman infielder Reagan Walsh.
In Division 4, Mira Costa’s senior infielder Serena Ponciano was named to the All-CIF team after the Mustangs finished with an 18-12-1 record. Ponciano led the team in batting with a .466 average, RBI with 25 and two home runs.
Torrance senior outfielder Jenn Lew was also named to the All-CIF team.
In Division 5, El Segundo senior pitcher Monique Benjamin was named to the team after leading the Eagles to the quarterfinals where they lost to eventual runner-up JW North 6-2.
In Division 6, Chadwick junior pitcher Alex Davisson earned All-CIF honors.
In boys volleyball, fourth-seeded South Torrance was swept by eventual runner-up and top-ranked Newport Harbor 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals.
However, Spartan coach Aaron Saldana was named Coach of the Year after leading his squad to a 36-3 record.
Senior setter Kohl Kutsch and senior opposite hitter Luke Krzmarzick were named to the All-CIF first team.
Mira Costa (20-8) lost a heartbreaking match 25-20, 21-25, 15-25, 25-20, 16-14 to South in the quarterfinals. Senior outside hitter Max Cajuste earned Division 1 first team honors.
In Division 2, Bishop Montgomery’s versatile middle blocker/outside hitter Daniel Matheney earned All-CIF honors after leading the Knights to a 20-10 record
In Division 5, Vistamar (16-2) was shutout by eventual champion Diamond Ranch who lost only one set in five playoff matches. Junior middle blocker Jake Hoffman earned All-CIF status.
Despite finishing with an impressive 28-4 record, Mira Costa failed to have a player named to the All-CIF Division 1 team. Overall, it was a down year for the South Bay high school baseball teams with only three players earning All-CIF honors.
In Division 4, South Torrance senior pitcher Kevin Ishimaru was honored after posting a 9-2 record and 1.12 ERA while leading the Spartans to a 26-5 record.
In Division 6, Rolling Hills Prep juniors Jake Hammond and Sam Wilson were named to the All-CIF team. Hammond hit .438 with 32 RBI and a team-high 17 doubles. Wilson batted .581 with a team-leading 50 hits and 48 RBI. He also had 14 doubles and three home runs.
by Randy Angel