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San Clemente Girls Volleyball Rides Electric First Set to Upset Sweep of No. 3 Seed Dana Hills in Division 2 Quarterfinals

San Clemente upset and swept No. 3 seed Dana Hills in a CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinal match. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

By Zach Cavanagh

SAN CLEMENTE – Upsets are in fashion at San Clemente Excessive Faculty this week.

After being swept by Dana Hills in their two earlier conferences this yr, it was clear the Tritons got here with a unique power proper from the get-go on Wednesday night time.

San Clemente outlasted Dana Hills in an electrical, 30-point opening set and rode that wave of power from a hyped Triton crowd to a sweep victory, 30-28, 25-16, 25-15, over the No. 3 seed Dolphins in a CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinal match at San Clemente Excessive Faculty.

UPSET! San Clemente completes the sweep of No. 3 Dana Hills with a 3rd set win, 25-15, and advances to the CIF-SS D2 Semifinals. @SCHSTritons @SCTimesNews @DanaPointTimes @dhhs_athletics pic.twitter.com/REILgAH1zn

— SouthOCsports (@SouthOCsports) October 25, 2018

“It’s cliché to just say execution,” San Clemente coach Casey Swenson of what was totally different in this match towards Dana Hills. “All the games we played against them (in the first two matches) were close, except for maybe the first one. We know the opponent. All these girls play together in club and wherever else. It’s just a matter of executing, knowing what they’re going to do and responding the right way. And being really, really persistent all night long.”

San Clemente (29-7) advances to the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals and can play on the street at Trabuco Hills on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. The Sea View League champion Tritons beat the Mustangs twice this season, first in a five-set nonleague match at Trabuco Hills on Aug. 15 and second in a three-set event semifinal at Tesoro on Aug. 20.

“That’s insane,” San Clemente junior Abby Stewart stated of advancing to the semifinals. “Compared to our season last year (16-16 overall and 0-8 in league), this season has totally changed. We’re a whole new team now.”

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Dana Hills (25-7) seemed and felt extraordinarily assured in and popping out of their earlier second spherical match, a four-set win over Huntington Seashore, however the Dolphins struggled to achieve consistency towards San Clemente. Dana Hills now waits for its draw in the state playoffs subsequent month.

“The first game was big for both teams,” Dana Hills coach Gus Culver stated. “Gym came into effect, for sure. A little bit the ceiling. The other thing is they (San Clemente) played hard, touched a lot of balls on defense and kept plays alive. The third thing was, compared to the last couple times we played them, their right side played really well.”

The important thing on the fitting aspect for San Clemente was Stewart who knocked down a team-high 16 kills.

“She’s just always so steady, but tonight was extra special,” Swenson stated. “A little extra juice on the ball, a little extra mustard. She just made good decision after good decision all night long. They didn’t have an answer.”

San Clemente junior Abby Stewart knocked down a team-high 16 kills because the Tritons swept No. 3 seed Dana Hills, 30-28, 25-16, 25-15, in the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals. @SCHSTritons @SCTimesNews pic.twitter.com/wqz4CuG5MX

— SouthOCsports (@SouthOCsports) October 25, 2018

Junior Ella Gardiner posted 9 kills with a team-high three blocks. Junior Julia Wilson and senior Kirra Schulz have been an enormous half of the Tritons’ serve-receive recreation that stored San Clemente in all of it night time with 23 digs and 21 digs, respectively. Senior Malia Yim racked up 25 assists, junior Lexi Gruszcynski claimed 4 aces and junior Chanel Sud added three aces.

The primary set was wild as momentum swung from the packed San Clemente aspect of the health club and the extraordinarily well-represented Dana Hills aspect of the health club. The groups performed to 15 totally different tied scores in the set.

“You could definitely feel the tension on the court,” Stewart stated. “It was exhausting to be out there, but every point was worth it.”

Every staff went on respectable runs to set up a lead, however simply as shortly because the lead was constructed, it will disappear.

Popping out of a 23-23 tie, Dana Hills took the lead for its first set level, however San Clemente evened at 24-all. San Clemente fought off three set factors to tie the match at 26-26, after which the Tritons took management with a 27-26 lead.

“We get ourselves in that position at the end, that’s all I can hope for,” Swenson stated. “Then it’s just flip a coin. Both teams were playing so well, and we caught a little break here, little break there and it goes.”

San Clemente and Dana Hills traded factors till the Tritons’ third set level. Junior Ella Gardiner got here up with the block to take the set, 30-28, and blow the roof off the San Clemente fitness center.

San Clemente claims a completely ELECTRIC first set over Dana Hills, 30-28, with a block by Gardiner. Unimaginable opener because the Tritons take their first set from the Dolphins this season. @SCTimesNews @SCHSTritons @dhhs_athletics @DanaPointTimes pic.twitter.com/dtVMLGAnDc

— SouthOCsports (@SouthOCsports) October 25, 2018

“We feed off of that,” Swenson stated of the gang. “We preach to the girls all week that if we just keep applying that pressure, it’s going to weigh on them just as it weighed on us when we played before. If we could keep turning good plays into better plays, then that’s what’s going to happen. The crowd’s going to get going.”

Within the second set, Dana Hills appeared to proper its ship early with a four-point lead, 6-2, however the Dolphins couldn’t utterly discover their rhythm as San Clemente clicked right into a 9-1 run to tie the sport at 9-9 and surged forward, 15-10.

“I think game one that was the game both teams needed to come out and win,” Culver stated. “On top of that, we don’t get out to a great start in game two. So that’s the result.”

San Clemente stored its distance by means of the top of the set and closed on a 6-Zero run to win, 25-16.

Upset alert in San Clemente. Tritons take Recreation 2 comfortably, 25-16, and the No. 3 seed Dana Hills is down, 2-Zero. Might be a shakeup in CIF-SS D2 quarterfinals. @SCHSTritons @SCTimesNews @dhhs_athletics @DanaPointTimes pic.twitter.com/P6HTtcliOk

— SouthOCsports (@SouthOCsports) October 25, 2018

San Clemente led begin to end in the third set. Dana Hills by no means pressured a tie rating, and the Tritons pulled away with an Eight-1 run.

Gruszcynski posted three consecutive aces to ship San Clemente to match level, and on their second match-point try, Schulz ended the match with one final kill, 25-15.