Second-seeded Mira Costa avenged last year’s loss in the inaugural championship of the AAU Southern Pacific Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League, defeating top-seeded and defending champion Valencia 2-1 behind strong performances by its second and third teams in matches played at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica on Saturday.
The Mustang’s second team of Katrina Kernochan and Emma Smith scored a 21-15, 21-17 win and the third team of Brooke Feld and Keala Rusher was victorious in its 21-14, 21-16 match, securing Mira Costa’s title before the match of No. 1 teams was completed.
After dropping a hard-fought first set to Valencia 31-29, Mira Costa’s top team of Skylar Caputo and Lan Nguyen rebounded to win the second game 21-17 before Valencia prevented the sweep with a 15-11 win in the third game.
Mira Costa, which finished the season with a 13-0 record, began the playoffs with a 3-0 first-round win over Foothill on Friday.
In the quarterfinals Saturday morning, Mira Costa’s second and third teams dominated their matches for a 2-1 win over Harvard Westlake. The Mustangs later swept No. 9 Westlake 3-0 to reach the championships.
The IBVL grew from eight to 30 teams representing 27 schools this season and plans are in the works for a junior varsity league next year.
Redondo Union enjoyed a successful season in its first of competition in the IBVL. The eighth-seeded Sea Hawks swept Village Christian 3-0 in the wild-cad round and defeated No. 7 Marymount 3-0 in the quarterfinals with stellar performances by the teams of Abril Bustamante/Dominique Dodd, Andrea Gonzalez/Marissa Mitter and Lauren Cordero/Brittany Ungermann.
Redondo reached the semifinals before falling to Valencia 2-1. Cordero and Ungermann prevented the sweep with a 21-17, 21-8 win in the match featuring No. 3 teams.
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