Tawa’s HS Dots: Durango Fall Traditional “a feast for volleyball followers”


Mater Dei avenged an early season loss to Mira Costa to take down the nationwide No. 1 Mustangs within the closing of the Durango Fall Traditional on Saturday

That is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly have a look at 10 issues in highschool volleyball, previous or current, that curiosity me and hopefully will curiosity you. Search for Dots each week till the final highschool state championship in November:

• There was numerous anticipation main as much as this yr’s Durango Fall Traditional, due to what event organizers thought of the deepest area of elite groups ever for the reason that DFC started in 1995.

The 64-team occasion in Las Vegas boasted 9 groups ranked among the many high 20 nationally and plenty of, many others that have been thought of among the many perfect of their respective states.

Briefly, the event delivered a feast for volleyball followers, with high-level expertise on each court docket showcasing the easiest that the game has to supply at the highschool degree.

• Within the closing evaluation, the top-seeded groups did what they have been presupposed to do. Every of the groups seeded within the high 20 completed no worse than within the twentieth place.

The groups that started off as high 10 seeds all completed within the high 10, apart from seventh-seeded Archbishop Mitty and ninth-seeded Torrey Pines, which tied for fifteenth.

Fourteen of the 16 groups on the 1-seed line for the opening four-team swimming pools received their swimming pools, the lone exceptions being Thirteenth-seeded Marymount, which misplaced to the twentieth seed, Lone Peak; and Kamehameha-Kapalama, the final high seed. The Warriors fell to Alemany, a staff seeded one spot beneath them.

There have been a number of notable lower-seeded groups that far exceeded expectations. Palo Verde of Las Vegas, led by senior pin Lincoln Widespread, improved 32 spots to complete in thirtieth place. South Torrance and Rancho Cucamonga, each on the 4-seed line, improved 30 and 23 spots, respectively. Religion Lutheran of Las Vegas and La Canada, each preliminary 3-seeds, beat their seeds by 20 and 10 locations, respectively. Religion Lutheran completed twenty second after beginning because the forty second seed, simply three locations behind Marymount, which began as seed No. 13.

• The championship match at Durango pitted two Southern California powers in opposition to each other: Nationwide No. 1 Mira Costa, the highest total seed; versus Mater Dei, a high 5 nationwide staff and the No. 3 seed total.

The groups had performed as soon as earlier than, on Aug. 29, with Costa profitable, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19, at residence.

Mater Dei acquired its revenge on Saturday, prevailing 18-25, 25-20, 25-21.

The important thing to the match — no shock — was serving and passing. Mira Costa received in these areas in Sport 1 and the end result was decisive in its favor. Mater Dei dominated the final two units, acquired its center concerned to steadiness the constant offense it acquired from its dominant pins, and received convincingly. Certainly, the ultimate level got here on a first-ball swing from MB Sofia Walker in opposition to a flat-footed Mira Costa entrance line.

“Our middles actually stepped up late,” stated Mater Dei head coach Dan O’Dell. “We now have been desirous to get them extra concerned in hopes of it opening our outsides extra, and late in that Mira Costa match it actually confirmed. Each Emma Kingston and Sofia Walker acquired huge kills for us (and blocks) that helped push us to the end line. Our pin hitters are so proficient, however after we could make our opponents fear concerning the middles too, that’s when all the things actually clicks.”

• The title for Mater Dei was the fourth for the Monarchs in Durango event historical past, however the first since 2001, when lefty Breegan Mulligan was the star. The Monarchs received by rallying from one-set holes within the quarterfinals versus Assumption of Louisville, which acquired terrific play from Charlotte Moriarity, Chloe Smith and Bailey Blair; within the semifinals versus Sierra Canyon, which excelled behind libero Lauren Lynch, OHs Danica Rach and Halie McGinest, MB Maddie Means and setter Sade Ilowale; and within the championship match in opposition to a loaded Costa staff that includes senior setter Charlie Fuerbringer, senior libero Taylor Deckert and sophomore outsides Audrey Flanagan and Simone Roslon.

“It simply says we by no means hand over and we have now numerous combat in us,” stated senior OH Isabel Clark. “Perhaps first units aren’t our greatest however within the second and third we at all times have it.”

• Mira Costa acquired to the championship match by ousting a VERY spectacular Alemany squad, that includes setter Kyla Firestone and leaping jack attackers Havyn Rolle and Alanah Clemente; in three units within the qualifying spherical, earlier than sweeping Huntington Seaside within the quarters and defending champion Cathedral Catholic within the semis.

It appeared the Mustangs have been going to comb the ultimate, too, after lengthy serving runs from Chloe Hynes and Roslon rotated a 12-8 Sport 1 deficit by scoring 14 of the subsequent 15 factors. 

However Mira Costa couldn’t maintain the momentum regardless of surging to a 3-0 result in begin the second. Mater Dei picked it up in serve-receive, anchored by libero Malyssa Cawa; and the Monarchs’ ultra-physical pins — Clark, Layli Ostovar and Cymarrah Gordon – began to attain and rating and rating, arrange expertly by event MVP’s Julia Kakkis’ deep dishing.

Layli Ostovar used her whip of an arm to attain at will for Durango champion Mater Dei/Matt Smith photograph

“I simply assume they dialed it in,” O’Dell stated. “We struggled to go that first set in opposition to Costa. The passers made good changes. They took it upon themselves to take accountability for what they have been doing and so they made certain that that wasn’t going to be the rationale why we received or misplaced the sport. They did an exceptional job.”

“I assumed it was an important match,” stated Mira Costa head coach Cam Inexperienced. “I knew it was going to be powerful. Dan does such a superb job and so they have a ton of firepower so we already thought it was going to be a troublesome match regardless that we had overwhelmed them prior. Within the second and third set it was extra a serve and go battle. They have been on level for all the things, which opened up their middles. I wasn’t shocked as a result of they handed completely. Was it a superb loss? It’s a loss I can reside with as a result of they’re good and so they have been higher that day. I’m wanting ahead to seeing them once more.”

• Clark, a member of the All-Match Workforce, performed on Saturday in jersey quantity 27 after taking part in the day earlier than in her acquainted No. 2.

“I misplaced my jersey yesterday,” she defined. “I feel I left it on the different gymnasium. I’m going to overlook it however I feel I’m going to stay with 27. I really feel prefer it gave me numerous confidence at the moment.”

Audrey Flanagan can’t be stopped in her sophomore yr. She sees the court docket so nicely and hitting onerous angle is her speciality/Matt Smith photograph

• Flanagan, together with Fuerbringer and Deckert, made the All-Match Workforce for Mira Costa. The sophomore has emerged because the staff’s go-to hitter regardless of taking part in all of final yr on the junior varsity staff.

“It type of blows my thoughts,” she admitted. “I by no means would have thought that I’d be doing this proper now, from the place I used to be final yr. It’s actually loopy. I feel taking part in with these high-level gamers I needed to step up my sport.”

• Fast hits from Durango:

Maya Evens, who was ridiculous within the contrasting jersey; and RS Tianna Owens made the All-Match Workforce for Cathedral Catholic, which additionally acquired its regular dominating play from MB Jenna Hanes.

Prestonwood Christian Academy positioned OH Cari Spears on the listing. The Lions have been VERY spectacular in all however the Cathedral Catholic match and acquired by fellow Texas aspect Cornerstone Christian in three to complete fifth. Megan Fitch was acknowledged for her play for Cornerstone Christian.

Addison Williams of Huntington Seaside, Sadie Snipes of Branson and Avery Jackson of The Hockaday College additionally made All-Match.


Branson received the Silver Bracket. The Bulls, who misplaced solely to Cornerstone Christian, knocked off Lone Peak, Xavier Faculty Prep and Archbishop Mitty within the Silver Division. The win over Mitty, a NorCal rival, got here only one week after Branson misplaced to Mitty, 3-0.


Mitty was considered one of two groups to enter the event unbeaten, however the Monarchs misplaced thrice. The ultimate loss was particularly painful, because it got here in opposition to league rival Saint Francis of Mountain View, a staff they’d beforehand defeated.


Torrey Pines coach Brennan Dean left after his Falcons misplaced a troublesome three-set qualifying-round match to Huntington Seaside to attend two Saturday weddings in San Diego of former gamers. Torrey Pines misplaced twice extra, to Alemany and Redondo Union, regardless of dominant play from OH Finn Krystkowiak.


Hockaday, from Dallas, received the Competitors Division to complete twenty fifth total.  That will not, ordinarily, benefit a spot on the All-Match Workforce for its high participant, however try what Jackson, a Stanford seaside volleyball commit, did over seven matches: the surface hitter hit .416 with 136 kills, whereas including 62 digs, 13 aces, six blocks and 105 receptions whereas passing a 2.4, Unbelievable!


I frolicked at each Durango and Palo Verde on Friday. Listed below are another gamers I loved watching:

OH Angelina Guerrro, Durango HS – huge arm
S/MB Logan Tusher, Branson – controls the court docket
Brooke Stauffer, Nook Canyon – easy
OH  Chloe Pravednikov, Wilson — terminal
MB Savanna Brotherson, Mountain View – undersized however springy center
MB Kensley Hennessy, Bishop Manogue – good off of 1 or two toes
Libero Madisyn Inexperienced, Mercy Academy – all around the court docket
OH Desirae Noble, Shadow Ridge — thumper
OH Sydney Metcalf, Queen Creek – tall attacker on a tall staff with nice potential
MB Zoey Burgess, Lone Peak – Lively, bodily center on a Knights staff that additionally had Mckynzee Beddes, Cami Christiansen and freshman Ava Burgess additionally stand out
OH Bellamie Buess, Skyview – Is aware of tips on how to rating
MB Willow Watson, Arbor View – quick arm out of the center
OH Emma Klett, Ironwood Ridge – lengthy hitter with vary
OH Jadyn Livings, Prestonwood Christian – look out beneath when she hits!


Lastly, shout out to the Las Vegas groups. Over the previous 10-15 years, they’ve been straightforward pickings for groups seeded above them, however have been rather more aggressive this yr, even in defeat.

• Information from outdoors of Durango…

Sophomore center Kinley Soiney recorded kills No. 1,000 over the weekend for Mabel-Canton on the Class A Showcase in Minnesota. She is hitting .524 on the season with 337 kills for the Cougars, who suffered their first defeat of the season in opposition to 25 wins within the closing versus Minneota, the No. 1 ranked Class A staff within the state…


North Myrtle Seaside (21-1) acquired 23 kills mixed from Olivia Borgman and Clara Cloninger, 28 assists from Bella Loeswick and 17 digs from Kendal Scanlin in turning again Dorman in an thrilling championship match on the Dorman Match of Champions on Saturday. Set scores have been 27-29, 26-24, 15-13, as shut as a match can get! Carly O’Brien and Kayla O’Brien have been Dorman standouts. Carly had 83 kills and 59 digs for the weekend. Kayla handed exceptionally and led the Cavaliers with 81 digs. Dorman is now 23-2 on the yr.


Camryn Chatellier notched her 1,000th profession kill as a part of a 7-0 week for 16-1 Dominican of New Orleans. The enjoyable began Tuesday with a four-set win over Archbishop Hannan, which avenged Dominican’s solely loss on the yr; and continued by means of the Crimson-Scorching Sticker Traditional in Baton Rouge on the weekend, the place Dominican went 5-0 to take the title, with wins over highly-ranked St. Thomas Extra and Parkview Baptist. Chatellier had 11 kills and 4 aces within the championship match. Lauren Pipitone added 18 digs, Noelie Haddad had six kills and 5 digs and Gabby Marcello had 19 assists and 5 digs…


Lakewood misplaced its first 4 matches at Durango this weekend, however received its final three, considered one of them profession win No. 500 for coach Mike Wadley, who’s retiring this yr…


Matt Guzman notched profession teaching win No. 250 on Tuesday as James Logan swept Moreau Catholic. Guzman began at Logan again in 2013.

“To be a part of this milestone for my coach is a big accomplishment for himself and the staff,” stated senior setter and staff captain Kaitlyn Anderson. “It reveals how devoted he’s to us in our improvement as pupil athletes to achieve our fullest potential.”

• Lastly, all eyes this weekend might be on Phoenix, the place the Nike Match of Champions – Southwest will host 77 groups.

It’s not an important area to be sincere.

California state-ranked Sierra Canyon, Beckman, Saint Francis of Mountain View and Marymount will characterize the Golden State. The ToC additionally will characteristic Cornerstone Christian of San Antonio, South Carolina’s Dorman, Louisville Sacred Coronary heart Academy and lots of the better of Arizona, together with Xavier Faculty Prep, Millennium, Queen Creek, Casteel, Notre Dame Prep, Corona del Sol, Sunnyslope and Horizon.

This appears like Sierra Canyon and Cornerstone within the closing. Sierra Canyon received after they confronted off this previous Saturday in two straight. I’ll take the Trailblazers once more on this one. It is a staff that’s beginning to develop into the most effective model of themselves…

Till subsequent time …

Mira Costa libero Taylor Deckert made the All-Match Workforce at Durango, due to performs like this/Matt Smith photograph

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