NORWALK — It was a disappointing outcome for the Marina girls volleyball team Saturday morning in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 final at Cerritos College
The Vikings (19-13) were making their first appearance in a CIF championship since 2002 but were unable to produce a positive result as they were swept by Buckley of Sherman Oaks, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19.
Marina coach Jake Nuneviller, who is in his final season at the helm, was dejected after coming so close to the storybook ending sought by his program.
“Nothing but respect to them (Buckley), I just wish we could’ve given them what I thought was our best volleyball,” he said. “They played at a high level and we didn’t combat that, not today unfortunately. I don’t know, I’m not too happy,” Nuneviller said.
After falling behind two games to none, Marina raced out to a 5-0 lead but the Griffins absorbed that run and tied the set 13-13. Junior middle blocker Sophia Wolford collected a block and a kill on consecutive points before the Vikings started to commit service errors and misplay the ball on the receiving end which doomed them. Tate Drageset got the match-clinching point in the final set.
“Little things, like taking care of the ball, just things that we didn’t necessarily do as well today as we’ve done throughout the season, and that’s unfortunate,” Nuneviller said.
The Griffins (25-3) controlled the action at the net in the first set with outside hitters Adonia Anene, who had five kills in the opening set.
The players and coaches for the Marina girls volleyball team pose for a photo after receiving the runner-up plaque after losing in the CIF-SS Division 5 final Saturday, Nov. 5. (Photo by David Delgado, Contributor)
Marina pulled to within one point as it trailed 22-21 after a kill by Dominique Vadeboncoeur, but Anene answered with a big swing and then the Brown-committed Wolford got an ace before Anene’s kill ended the set.
The Vikings fared much better in the second set, as they took a 19-15 lead that forced a Buckley timeout. The Griffins regrouped and scored the next six points for a 21-19 advantage before Drageset’s ace gave Buckley the second set.
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Senior opposite/outside hitter Dominique Vadeboncoeur led the Vikings attack with 13 kills, outside hitter Jalissa Costa had five kills and four aces and setter Jordan Packer added 27 assists and four aces.
On the other side, Griffins coach Otis Glasgow was elated over winning a championship plaque, the school’s first since 2017.
“This is my first year as a head coach,” Glasgow said. “I’ve been a head coach for about six months or so, I’m not really feeling it at the moment right now. I’m riding a high right now and it’s amazing.”