The season came to a close for two local volleyball teams on Saturday.
Both Trinity Classical Academy and Santa Clarita Christian came to the end of their playoff roads, losing in the CIF-Southern Section Division 9 quarterfinals — the Knights to San Gabriel Academy and the Cardinals to Capistrano Valley Christian.
The Knights had arguably the best season in program history thanks to a handful of firsts.
They defeated SCCS for the first time in history. They earned their first-ever Heritage League title. And most recently, they made their first appearance in the Division 9 quarterfinals.
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“This group was just such a fun group,” said coach Rebecca Peluffo. “We were truly a family and we prided ourselves on that. No matter what happed on the court, we could encourage one another and that showed in how well we did this season.”
Trinity (14-11-1) was defeated in five sets in their final match of the season Saturday night. Peluffo said endurance wasn’t as much of an issue in the long match as consistency was.
“I think (San Gabriel) just went on runs, and we didn’t stop them after one or two points,” she said. “We had to play catchup sometimes to try to get back in, and it was mostly in the sets that we lost where they would get a long service run on us.”
The Eagles continue their season with a 24-4 record.
Three seniors part ways with the Knights squad, leaving a confident group of underclassmen.
“I think we have just as good of a chance at winning next year as we did this year,” Peluffo said.
After kicking off the postseason with two five-game matches, the Cardinals knew they’d have to be at 100 percent to keep rolling.
“It really revealed the heart and the fight that these girls had,” said coach Darcy Brown of the five-game victories. “They were willing to go out and never give up.”
Unfortunately, a roster that wasn’t 100 percent healthy attributed to their Division 9 quarterfinal loss to Capistrano Valley (26-2).
SCCS (13-10-1) was missing starter Aaronya Crosswhite.
“We just did not come and play like I know we can play,” said Brown, who led teams to CIF divisional finals in 2014 and 2015. “And then you omit one of your normal starters from the lineup, and it can just be tough.”
Although the season-ending match ended in a 3-0 defeat, there’s promise of a strong future for the Cards, who will return 10 players next year.
“We didn’t get the league title,” Brown said, “but we made it to the quarterfinals and it totally gives us encouragement for next year to have so many of those girls returning and then some good kids that are ready to come up and fill shoes and continue working hard and getting better.