By BRIAN REED-BAIOTTO, Sports Editor Poly didn’t always play as well or as consistent as they’d have liked in Tuesday’s Prep League championship match against visiting Westridge. There was no doubt, though, that every girl who took the court for the Panthers did everything possible to give Poly a chance to pull off the upset. […]
By BRIAN REED-BAIOTTO, Sports Editor
Poly didn’t always play as well or as consistent as they’d have liked in Tuesday’s Prep League championship match against visiting Westridge.
There was no doubt, though, that every girl who took the court for the Panthers did everything possible to give Poly a chance to pull off the upset.
Westridge, however, is just too good this season, and the Tigers earned a 25-22, 22-25, 25-23 and 25-19 victory.
The win clinches their first outright league title since 2006 and they were able to run their Prep League slate unbeaten.
Westridge shared last season’s crown with Chadwick, but they weren’t going to settle for that this year, especially considering the production and leadership of three quality seniors.
Eryn Boken, Makana Meyer and Allison Martinez combined for 49 of the Tigers’ 52 kills.
Meyer led all players with 24 kills, and she also had 10 digs.
Martinez kept pace with her tag-team partner, and finished with 21 kills and 11 digs.
Ella Mao led Poly with 13 kills, and Halston Harper added 8 kills and 4 blocks in her final regular season match for the Panthers.
Eryn Boken chipped in 4 kills, 2 digs and 2 aces, while Krystal Raymundo had a match-high 46 assists, and even 12 digs.
Natalie Clark finished with 6 kills and 2 blocks, and the Panthers’ Zoey Mao had a team-high 39 assists, and she contributed 3 blocks and 2 kills.
Poly and Westridge will find out their playoff pairing on Thursday when CIF releases the brackets at 3.
Westridge is ranked No. 6 in the most recent CIF-SS Division 3 poll, and Poly is ranked eighth in the CIF-SS Division 4 poll.
Poly coach Steve Beerman: “This was a battle of two good teams and the best team won tonight. I was very proud because we battled every point of every game and played to win. There were times we could have played better, but we battled and we’re excited for the playoffs.”
Westridge coach Otto Lacayo: “Poly was amazing and did a great job serving. They did a great job blocking and the defense had a great shot at the ball every time. (Makana Meyer and Allison Martinez) gave me a little more needed leadership. We’ve been up and down of late in that department.”
Poly senior Halston Harper: “They just had a really good block. They have really good hitters. This was our best year as a senior (in the last several years). We have grown as a team and it’s exciting. With this team, I’m most proud that everyone is confident on the court and that everyone feels welcome.”
Poly senior Natalie Clark: “I thought we definitely had a shot and had some momentum after the second game. We all had our responsibilities and did our jobs. The unity on this team (is great). No one is trying to out-shine anyone else.”
Westridge senior Eryn Boken: “I think it’s a really cool experience, especially considering how well we did last year. It’s fun to see how far we’ve come together as seniors. They (Poly) have incredible middle blockers and great hitters. As competitors, they brought out good things in us. Our team doesn’t like to be comfortable, we like to be challenged.”
Westridge senior Makana Meyer: “Today was about hitting high. They have some great blockers and we really went for it. We left it all on the line. The great thing about our team is we keep growing and evolving. The fact we’re switching things up is awesome.”
2017 Prep League Final Standings:
Westridge (22-6 overall, 12-0 in league)
Poly (21-4, 10-2)
Mayfield (11-13, 8-4)
Chadwick (12-10, 6-6)
Flintridge Prep (13-10, 4-8)
Rio Hondo Prep (10-10, 2-10)
Firebaugh (0-17, 0-12)