The San Diego Section girls tennis and volleyball finals wrapped up over the past couple weekends. East County teams made a solid showing with two finalists and one champion in the tennis playoffs and three finalists and one champion in the volleyball playoffs.
Santana High School almost made it a two-sport sweep by placing runner-up in the Division III girls tennis final on Oct. 30 and winning the Division IV girls volleyball championship last Friday.
The Lady Sultans received the No. 1 seed in the division for girls tennis and advanced to the championship game by defeating 16th-seeded Christian (13-5 in the first round), eighth-seeded Santa Fe Christian (17-1 in the quarterfinals) and fifth-seeded Ramona (10-8 in the semifinals).
Santana and second-seeded University City tied 9-9 in the final, necessitating a tie-breaker that the Lady Centurions won 73-70 in total games.
“This was our program’s second time being a finalist and the girls played amazing all season, all the way to the CIF championship,” Santana athletic director Luke Phillips said.
Second-seeded Santana (23-3) defeated fourth-seeded Foothills Christian (28-6) in an all-East County girls volleyball final 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, 27-25. With the CIF championship, the Lady Sultans earned a place in history as the first team at the school to qualify for the state playoffs in any sport.
“The key to this team’s success comes down to a few things,” Santana coach Megan Wale said. “For starters, we have very talented athletes. But we also have a group of girls that gel very well together. They are fun-loving, hard-working, and are friends both on and off the court. They are truly a great group who had high expectations, wanted to win, and strove to be competitors.
“As for the CIF championship game, the team has worked hard all season and they are so very deserving of the championship title. They had made history at Santana being the first girls volleyball team to win CIF and we are very proud of them and their accomplishments.”
Sophomore Hayley Ogden led Santana with 17 kills.
Ladies of Steele finish second
The Steele Canyon High School girls tennis team entered the 2021 fall season with only three returning varsity players. Despite the massive loss to graduation, the Lady Cougars turned in some rather impressive accomplishments.
Steele Canyon finished as Grossmont Hills League co-champions and won their opening three matches in the San Diego Section Division II playoffs to reach the championship round.
The Lady Cougars defeated 16th-seeded Southwest El Centro (11-7 in the opening round), eighth-seeded San Diego (10-8 in the quarterfinals) and fifth-seeded Carlsbad (11-7 in the semifinals).
They played to a 9-9 draw against 15th-seeded Poway in the championship final Oct. 29 at the Barnes Tennis Center before eventually falling in the tiebreaker.
“The ladies worked extremely hard all through the season,” Steele Canyon coach Jerry Segawa said.
The first tiebreaker is total games. The teams tied 75-all. That necessitated a second tiebreaker (doubles wins) that Poway won 5-4.
“The finals truly went down to the very final point,” Segawa said. “Mathematically we could not have been any closer.”
•Caitlyn Snell, voted the league’s most valuable player, won the league singles title. In the CIF team championship play she carved up a 72-6 record. In the finals she was perfect with three 6-0 matches
•Carly Schiffman, who received the league’s sportsmanship award, and her doubles partner Maggie Craig won the league doubles crown.
•Aubriana Guerrero and Allie Glovinsky placed second in league doubles.
•Ashlyn Steen and Cailene Mejos placed third in league doubles.
•Sarah Carreno received the team sportsmanship award at the CIF finals.