Mount Madonna sophomore Liana Kitchel blocks a shot against Harbor High in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Tournament semifinals match on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Juan Reyes — The Pajaronian)

The Mount Madonna School girls’ volleyball team had Harbor High on the ropes in Tuesday night’s Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Tournament semifinals.

But the Hawks ran out of gas in a loss to the top-seeded Pirates in four sets, 25-21, 14-25, 25-22, 26-24, at Santa Cruz High. 

Junior setter Savannah Cambell had 16 digs and 33 assists and five blocks for Mt. Madonna, which came into the tournament as the No. 4 seed.

“We fought as much as we could and I think we know the things we need to bring for the postseason,” Cambell said.

Despite the loss, the Hawks earned the top seed in the Central Coast Section Division V playoff bracket and a bye in the first round. They finished the regular season with a 14-8 overall record and were 6-6 in SCCAL play.

“We played really well and have grown as a team,” Cambell said. “Even though we loss we felt proud of ourselves.” 

Senior outside Paola Jacobs had 12 kills and 15 digs, while Freshman middle hitter Eve Willis had 13 kills and six blocks. Sophomore outside Liana Kitchel contributed 18 digs.

Mt. Madonna coach Erin Mitchell said they gave the Pirates the same kind challenge the previous time the teams met two weeks ago.

“I really think that if we would’ve gotten to five we don’t know who would’ve came out on top,” Mitchell said. 

Mt. Madonna lost the first set but beat the Pirates in dominating fashion in the second.

Harbor regrouped in the third and fourth but the Hawks stayed within striking distance, including a small run that tied the final set at 24-all.

But the “little engine that could”, also known as the Mt. Madonna, didn’t have quite enough to get past the top-seeded Pirates.

“You gotta play really perfect but it is possible. They (played perfect) but Harbor got really lucky with that ball sliding across the net at the end because we were going to dig any other ball that was out there,” Mitchell said. 

The Hawks defeated Scotts Valley High on Monday in four sets, 25-13, 22-25, 25-15, 25-21, in the opening round. The match was played at Harbor due to power outage at Mt. Madonna. 

Jacobs had three aces, three blocks, 14 kills and 23 digs, while Kitchel had nine kills and 20 digs in that game. Campbell added 20 digs and 36 assists for the Hawks.

Mt. Madonna freshman opposite Mariah Cohen had 10 kills, senior libero Anmei Dasbach-Prisk contributed 11 digs and senior defensive specialist Tabby Hardin-Zollo had four aces in Monday’s win.

Cambell said they started something new called “Light the Fire,” which they started using in Tuesday’s league semifinals. 

“I think it’s a good visual but also it’s going to the next person and lighting their fire,” Cambell said. “If we all have our fires lit then we all play really well.” 

The Hawks play the winner of Saturday’s first round match between No. 8 Thomas More (12-12) and Kehillah Jewish (13-1). 

Mt. Madonna will host the quarterfinals match on Tuesday at 7 p.m. 

Soquel 3, Aptos 0: The Mariners lost to the Knights on Tuesday in three sets, 28-26, 25-21, 25-22, in the SCCAL Tournament semifinals.  

Senior outside hitter Peyton Dueck had 20 kills, seven digs and two aces. Senior Natalia Ackerman had six kills, while Alana Patyk-Randa had 28 assists and six digs for the Mariners.

The Mariners escaped with a win against No. 6 Santa Cruz High in four sets, 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 26-24 on Monday night.

Aptos (14-12, 9-3) earned the No. 3 seed in the CCS D-III playoffs and a bye in the first round. They’ll host the winner between No. 6 St. Ignatius (15-20) and No. 11 Capuchino High (18-12) in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The bracket is loaded with local schools such as No. 7 Santa Cruz (17-14), No. 9 Monterey High (19-13), No. 4 Soledad High (21-2) and No. 2 Soquel (17-8), which has won the title the last two years.  

The semifinals will also take place at Aptos High on Thursday at a time yet to be determined.

Pajaro Valley 3, Pacific Grove 1: The Grizzlies beat the Breakers on Monday in four sets 15-25, 25-21, 25-12, 25-16, in Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress division action.

Senior middle Natalia Arroyo finished with a game-high 22 points on serve, 10 aces and five assists for Pajaro Valley High.

Senior outside hitter Julie Che finished with 14 digs, 11 kills, 11 points on serve and five aces. Junior setter Lourdes Diaz had a game-high 23 assists and 11 digs, while senior outside hitter Isabella Langarica contributed seven kills for the Grizzlies.

Junior libero Michelle Magbag had nine digs, while senior middle Elise Ramirez had three points on block for Pajaro Valley, which ended the season with an overall record of 14-15 and were 7-8 in league play.       


Reporting Scores: Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores, stats and highlights to [email protected] following games or call 831-761-7335. Please include your name and a contact number in the email. 

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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