at College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita
Match 7-Extra Set Final—N1 Cabrillo d. S1 Pierce, 25-17
Cabrillo wins the 2015 state title, Pierce finishes as state runner-up.
10-0. That was one day of volleyball for Cabrillo College in an improbable run of consecutive winning sets out of the loser's bracket to capture the 2015 state title.
The Seahawks finished off a day that featured sweeps of the other three state tourney participants--Foothill, Canyons and Pierce by taking the extra set for the program's second crown in three seasons. Cabrillo finished state runner-up last year and won the North region's first state championship in 2013.
"It's surreal. I mean did we just go 10-0 today?" said a joyous Cabrillo head coach Gabby Houston-Neville. "We prepare for the state tournament before the season like we are going to be there. I know the format and I've been here five times so I learn a little bit more each year to get us ready. We are very well conditioned and it paid off."
"We played with great confidence and it had a lot to do with our blocking and serving. When we faced Foothill, we knew what they were like as we faced them twice before. Then when we played Canyons, we just kept saying that we didn't play our best on Saturday and we had to play better against them. Finally v. Pierce, I think we were so determined and our players' confidence was sky high. Fatigue factor never set in."
No team had won three matches in a single day and the closest loser's bracket run by a team was done twice by El Camino when it won two matches and the extra set on the same day in winning both the 2007 and 2008 state titles.
After a 20-minute break following its sweep over Pierce, Cabrillo jumped out to a lead of 6-2 in the extra set. Cabrillo never relinquished the advantage although Pierce cut it to 9-8. At that point, the Seahawks ran off an 8-2 spurt capped by a kill by state tourney MVP Marcela Frazzoni.
Vanessa Ditz served an ace for match point finishing off an amazing 10 straight set wins by the Seahawks.
Frazzoni put on a show with five kills in 10 attempts and 10 digs in the extra set. Patrice Williams, who was the only 2-time All-Tournament selection for '14-15, added two blocks while fellow middle blockers Amber Botham and Olivia Tabron had two kills each. For Pierce, All-Tourney selection Zaire Dartis totaled five kills and five digs.
"I knew we were going to win," said Frazzoni, who is an international student from Chile. "I felt like every time we won a set, we just got better and better. We had a comfort level and it kept us going."
Pierce head coach Nabil Mardini said, "The better team won. Obviously Cabrillo never let fatigue set in. We just didn't play Brahmas volleyball after playing so well the night before."
Houston-Neville said, "When we won in 2013, it was for the entire region not just us. We had some great hitters back then. But this title was for these players. It was all about them, and all about believing in themselves that they could win."
Match 6, Championship Final—N1 Cabrillo d. S1 Pierce, 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-20)
Records: Cabrillo 29-2; Pierce 31-2
Cabrillo did what no team had ever accomplished in state tournament history—win three regulation best-of-5 set matches in a single day. The Seahawks surprisingly pulled off their third consecutive sweep Sunday in the championship final v. Pierce.
This set up an extra set to decide the championship between the two top seeds from their respective regions.
Cabrillo's blocking was a key as the Seahawks recorded 12 team blocks, six by Botham and five by Williams, who was 5-for-5 on attacks as well. Frazzoni tallied her third straight double-digit kill match of the day with 11 kills plus eight digs, three blocks and two aces. Libero Alyssa Nelson totaled 13 digs and Natalie Picone once again was a pivotal player with seven kills, six digs and four blocks. Nelson and Picone were later named All-State Tournament.
Pierce struggled with its hitting, making an uncharacteristic 26 attack errors (.066 overall percentage), and serving, making 10 errors. Dartis led the Brahmas with 11 kills while Chelsea Lawrence added five kills and six blocks.
Picone had four kills and three blocks to help Cabrillo win set 1. In set 2, Pierce led 4-1, but the teams traded 14 ties and seven lead changes. The Seahawks broke a 23-23 tie with a kill by Frazzoni and a block wall point by Williams and Frazzoni to capture the game. In set 3, Cabrillo trailed 6-5 and then went on a 16-8 rally to lead 21-14. Pierce roared back and cut it to 21-20 with a 6-0 run.
At that point, Cabrillo scored the next four points with an attack error by Pierce capping the sweep.
Release by Robert Lewis, CCCWVCA/CCCAA State WVB SID, email@example.com
photo by Richard Quinton