The No. 1 seeded Minarets High School volleyball team (31-4, 10-0) was defeated on its home court by La Jolla Country Day (25-12, 6-4) Dec. 3, ending its dream of winning the CIF D-V Volleyball State Championship.
The Mustangs were beaten in three straight sets (25-12, 25-13, 25-9) by La Jolla Country Day, bringing the Mustangs season to an end.
The Mustangs, back-to-back West Sequoia League champions and one of the Central Sections most dominate teams throughout the season and the playoffs, were just two wins away from capturing the state title.
The La Jolla team finished its season in third place in the Coastal South League. Country Day is a private school with annual tuition upwards of $25,000, and are allowed to recruit.
Coach Karra Zamora's players are some of the best conditioned and most committed athletes representing Minarets.
It would have taken a perfect match to beat Country Day, and it was obvious from the start, the Mustangs came out very tight and made many uncharacteristic miscues early. The Mustangs dug themselves a hole and could not overcome the large leads they surrendered early.
Minarets spotted La Jolla five points to begin the first set. Down 9-3, coach Karra Zamora called her first time out but it had little effect as the Torrey's jumped out to a 14-4 lead.
The second game started better for the Mustangs as they were down just 6-3 but the team had no answer for La Jolla's Alera Williams and 6-foot Shaney Lipscomb the result, a 25-13 loss. The two players dominated the net in all three games. Williams's vertical jump had her 16-inches above the net as she pounded kill after kill directly downward.
Mustang senior Katie Grant had seven kills. Sister Hallie recorded four kills, and sister Sami had three kills. Senior Taylor Meyer had 57 attempt sets and 10 assists.
After the game, Zamora expressed sadness for her players but said the team had a great run and she was proud of her team. Zamora said she knew it would be an uphill battle to defeat such a worthy opponent like La Jolla Country Day who was the only D-V team to play in an open division during their section tournament forcing them to play against the top eight teams in San Diego Country regardless of division.
"We knew we had our work cut out," Zamora said.
La Jolla Country Day went on to win the state title, defeating Branson High in three sets, 28-26, 25-20, 25-23.
It was a bitter sweet year for the Mustangs who accomplished so much yet fell short of the ultimate goal.
Zamora's team, was back at practice for travel ball last Saturday.
Next season the Mustangs will probably move to D- IV after winning back to back D-V section titles.