The SCCS girls volleyball team got off to a slow start on Monday evening dropping the first four points to Pacifica Christian.
It was smooth sailing after that, however, and once the Cardinals went up 8-7 in the first game they didn’t trail again for the rest of the night, sweeping the Seawolves by scores of 25-19, 25-9 and 25-14 to advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 quarterfinals.
Aaronya Crosswhite and Ashley Rens led the way for the Cardinals (18-4-1) in the first game, with the two combining for 12 kills in the opening frame.
While their attacking was on point, the two players were also hustling on defense and transitioning with ease between the front and back rows.
“It’s a great blessing to have when you do have girls that are that versatile,” said Cards head coach Darcy Brown. “It’s important to keep them on the court because they just work so well together.”
“All of our bench can play any position,” added senior Megan Dombrowski. “All of us being able to play front row and back row helps a lot.”
The Cardinals kept things rolling in the second game, as Dombrowski served up two aces in the first three points, then finished off the frame by winning 11 consecutive points while she was behind the service line.
While every serve wasn’t an ace, Dombrowski’s ball placement kept the Seawolves from gaining any momentum and they often struggled to return the ball after the initial touch.
“Serving is the first offensive kill for any volleyball team, so having our serves on was crucial tonight,” Dombrowski said. “The fact that mine were on so well tonight was really helpful. It helped set the tone and helped the girls get excited. It’s so crucial because when we can put them out of system it helps us to work better and kill the ball,” added Crosswhite.
As SCCS opened the third game with four consecutive points, the fans in attendance started to cheer louder and louder as their team inched closer to victory.
Pacifica Christian was able to battle back to tie the game 6-6, but a trio of consecutive kills from Rens followed by a couple of aces from Emalie Soules put the match out of reach.
The home crowd erupted as Dombrowski clinched the win with a drop shot that sailed over the heads of two Seawolves defenders.
“Being here at the home court and having everyone here, all these football players and basketball players are all here, it’s really great,” Dombrowski said. “Our student section, we call ourselves the Red Sea. Having them here is super great.”
“Our home crowd is the best,” Crosswhite said. “We can’t be more thankful for them.”
SCCS will carry its 10-match winning streak into Wednesday, facing Villanova Prep in the next round of the playoffs. The match is scheduled for 6 p.m.