First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team had a strong showing in the Southern California Invitational Tournament at Alliant University in San Diego on Friday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 9, finishing with a 5-2 record last weekend.
While the Spartans’ 17-match win streak came to a halt against San Diego’s Westview High — one shy of the school’s all-time volleyball win streak of 18 set by coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 team — the strong performance helped move LC’s record to 26-4 overall (6-0 in league).
The 17-match win streak is believed to be the second-longest in school history, three better than coach Brock Turner’s 2011 Spartans.
LCHS ended Friday’s pool play with three victories, the first coming against San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo High by scores of 25-23, 20-25, 15-11. Senior Olivia Toland and junior Nikki Hughes led the offense with 11 and six kills, respectively. Senior Allie Landa recorded a team-high 21 assists along with one ace. She also had two blocks along with five digs. Sophomore Haley Clark added a team-high seven digs with two solo blocks.
El Camino Real High, La Cañada’s second Friday opponent, stood no chance as the Spartans won by scores of 25-23 and 25-18. Toland recorded her second straight, team-leading 11 kill match while Hughes and Clark added eight and six, respectively. Toland also had a team-high two aces while sophomore Tatum Purdy, Hughes, Clark and Landa each recorded one.
Landa’s ball-handling was good for a team-high 24 assists while Clark and sophomore Chloe Nussbaum added one each.
La Cañada’s final opponent of Friday’s pool-play was against San Diego’s Scripps Ranch High, which the Spartans also swept by scores of 25-20 and 25-22. Nussbaum did well with six aces and six digs, both team-highs, while Clark recorded five aces.
Toland had another stellar performance with 16 of La Cañada’s 23 total kills, along with three aces. Clark (three), Hughes (two), Landa (one) and senior Kylie Sears (one) completed the Spartans’ kill line. Landa accounted for 21 of the Spartans’ 22 total assists, recording her third 20-plus assist match of the tournament.
The Spartans entered their match against San Diego’s Westview High on Saturday, setting their sights on tying the school’s 1999 all-time record. Unfortunately, LCHS was denied the opportunity as the Spartans lost their first match since Aug. 31, 20-25, 25-16 and 14-16.
In the losing effort, Hughes and Toland recorded 14 and 13 kills, respectively. The pair also combined for three total blocks. Landa had 28 assists, five digs, one block and one kill.
LCHS bounced back with a victory over its next opponent, La Jolla, by scores of 17-25, 25-23 and 15-5. Nussbaum registered two aces and 13 digs, both team-highs.Toland had another fine performance with team-highs in kills (15) and total blocks (three). She also added six digs.
Nussbaum recorded 14 digs and three aces, both team-highs, while Landa and junior Rachel Salit added eight and seven digs, respectively.
La Cañada’s third match was against San Diego’s Francis Parker High, narrowly winning 25-23 and 25-22. Landa had her best performance of the tournament by recording a match-high 30 assists and six digs. Clark also did well, recording a match-high 11 kills while adding two digs and one ace. Toland added 10 kills, seven digs, two total blocks and one ace.
LCHS didn’t end the tournament the way it wanted to, as the Spartans were swept in their final match against Chula Vista’s Eastlake High by scores of 25-20 and 25-23. Toland recorded 12 kills and two blocks, both team-highs, while adding five digs to her line. Hughes and Clark had six and one kills, respectively. Freshman Katie McGuinness recorded her first kill of the match — second of the tournament — in addition to her two digs. Landa had 16 assists but also recorded a team-high three aces in the losing effort. Nussbaum finished the match with a team-high 11 digs.