High school volleyball roundup: Maria Carrillo girls capture 10th straight NBL title

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Maria Carrillo wrapped up its 10th consecutive North Bay League volleyball title Thursday night with a straight-set victory over visiting Ukiah.

The Pumas finished league play with a 14-0 record and the school has lost only one league match in the last decade.

(www.shutterstock.com)

(www.shutterstock.com)

The scores were: 25-21, 25-17 and 27-25.

The first eight years of title runs were under the tutelage of Jeff Nielsen, while current coach and former player Ally Sather took over in 2013.

“We played scrappy, which was something we hadn’t done this season,” Sather said. “We were able to come up with digs and then get the ball to our big hitters.”

Payton Jones came up with 19 digs, while Baelei Wiesner had 21 assists, three more than Dani Reynolds.

At 6-foot-2, Claire Brady led the attack with 17 kills, followed by Caiti Wiesner’s 15.

The Wiesner sisters are identical twins and both will play at Sonoma State next season.

When asked why the Pumas’ program has been so successful, the seniors shared similar thoughts. “A lot is expected when you play volleyball for Carrillo,” Baelei said.

“Given the tradition, you know you have to practice hard and play hard in games. It’s a lot to hold up to, but everyone does it because we love the game. All the teams I’ve played on have had good chemistry, but this year’s team is made up of best friends on and off the court.”

Caiti said pride has played a role in building the dynasty.

“Every single player is glad to be on the team and is motivated to win,” she said. “Everyone wants to contribute to reach that goal.”

Brady, who earned a scholarship to Southern Utah, said expectations to win are an integral part of the successful program.

“You’re expected to work hard every day in practice,” she said. “Also, the teams have benefited from excellent coaching. That’s very important to the success of the program.”

Sather said another key factor is that through the years, most of the girls have played club volleyball.

“School volleyball is just for a few months,” she said. “Club volleyball is year-round. The more touches a player gets, they’ll continually improve.”

Brady and the Wiesners play for the Empire Volleyball 18s Mizuno team.

The Pumas earned the No. 1 seed in next Tuesday’s NBL Tournament and then the following week will begin play in the NCS division 2 bracket.

Carrillo has won NCS three times since 2005.

CARDINAL NEWMAN 3, RANCHO COTATE 0

At Cardinal Newman, the Cardinals won all three games by identical scores of 25-17.

Marina Vidaurri (10 kills) and Monique Boudreaux (9 kills) drew praise from winning coach Anna Waller.

“They had low errors and high kill percentages,” she said. “Overall, we played consistent. We didn’t miss a serve all night.”

In other NBL action Thursday night:

MONTGOMERY 3, WINDSOR 1

At Montgomery, Catelyn Schroeder led the Vikings’ attack with 17 kills, while Regina Pigsley came up with 45 digs.

McKenna Laforge had a team-high 28 assists to go along with 11 digs.

Violet Johnson also had a big evening with 23 digs and 14 assists.

The set scores were: 25-20, 21-25, 25-12 and 25-13.

Montgomery finished second in league with a 12-2 record and is 18-6 overall.

SANTA ROSA 3, CASA GRANDE 0

At Santa Rosa, the Panthers wrapped up third place in league and prevailed by scores of 25-20, 25-23, 25-17.

“It was the last regular season home game for the seniors and they played the entire first set,” coach Amber Oden said.

Janelle Diangson had a team-high 11 kills and Katie Glazier contributed 10.

For Casa, Sadie Welch led the way with 13 kills. Molly Cubba had 11 digs and 10 assists.