Trinity volleyball loses to Rancho Christian in four games in CIF-SS quarterfinals

Trinity junior Paige Kim goes up fr the kill in a playoff matchup with Rancho Christian at The Master's University on Wednesday. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Trinity Classical Academy volleyball lost to Rancho Christian 3-1 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 tournament.

“Our season is something to be proud of,” said Trinity coach Rebecca Peluffo. “We definitely found a way to fight in playoffs and make a name for ourselves.”

After going point-for-point to open the first game, the Knights fell behind, 6-4, when the Eagles’ Brooklynn Thomas aced a serve. Rancho Christian proceeded to go on several scoring runs until Trinity finally caught up and tied it at 23-23 when a Rancho Christian hit went wide.

Hannah Caddow executed an ace to win the game at 25-23.

Trinity sophomore Reagan Fernandez bumps the ball forward in a playoff matchup with Rancho Christian at The Master’s University on Wednesday. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“A big part of the game was mental and we’ve always struggled with that,” Caddow said, “and then just when we got into playoffs, we just were able to make that switch and in the first game, we were able to do it and come back.”

Trinity opened Game 2 with an ace from Nicole Amoroso, but Rancho Christian quickly recovered and went on a seven-point scoring run to secure an 11-3 lead. The Eagles went on to win the game 25-13.

Rancho Christian scored the opening point in the third game for some momentum, but Trinity closed the gap to 10-9 on a kill from Caddow. That was all the closer the Knights came to a lead as Eagles hitters Thomas and Amirah Ali took control of the game.

“Having our block make sure we’re pressed, not just there because they were really smart at using the block, so making sure we were being deliberate with the block,” Caddow said of her team’s defensive adjustments.

The Eagles jumped out to an eight-point lead to open the final game, with Ali contributing four of those points herself.

Several errors smothered the Knights’ attempt at a comeback. Caddow was able to manage a kill then a block to make it 23-20 in Rancho Christian’s favor, but four errors sealed the Eagles’ win at 25-20.

It was Trinity’s second appearance in program history in the CIF-SS quarterfinals. The Knights came in third place in the Heritage League and will return all but four players to next year’s roster.

Peluffo was excited about her team’s unique identity this season and even had several Rancho Christian fans approach her after the match about it.

“(They) said ‘Your team is different than others,’ and so that was our goal, was to be a different team that other teams would want to look at and say, ‘Why are they so different?’” Peluffo said.

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