ORANGE -- Archbishop Mitty and Valley Christian faced different challenges as both won state titles in impressive sweeps at the CIF State Volleyball Championships in Orange.
Mitty captured the Division II title with a 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 win over previously unbeaten Santiago-Corona, a team that had dropped just one set all season, albeit against a somewhat suspect schedule. Valley Christian won the Division III title by routing Central Valley Christian-Visalia 25-20, 25-16, 25-10.
It was Mitty's 10th state title, most of any school in California, as it edged one ahead of rival St. Francis. For Valley Christian, it was a watershed moment of a different sort: the school's first-ever state volleyball title.
Earlier in the day, Menlo School was overcome by Francis Parker-San Diego in the Division IV contest, as the Lancers prevailed 21-25, 30-28, 25-15, 25-16.
Mitty (42-4) was led by Clare Powers with 16 kills, Alexa Dreyer with 12 kills and a .611 attack percentage and Shirin Tooloee with 11 kills and a .476 percentage. Setter Kelsey Crawford contributed 37 assists.
"We side out like mad and Kelsey figures out ways to attack people in ways they are not comfortable with," Mitty coach Bret Almazan-Cezar said.
Mitty trailed 6-1 in the first set but rallied with a 12-3 surge, sparked by four Dreyer kills.
In the second set, Mitty pulled away from a 7-7 tie to a 12-8 lead, and Santiago (40-1) could not get closer than three points.
Mitty led the third set 16-11 when the Sharks had a 10-2 burst. Santiago led 24-21, but the poised Monarchs finished with a five-point run that featured kills from Natasha Kosowicz and Tooloee.
Valley Christian (35-8) steamrolled the Cavaliers (37-5) with dominant blocking, high-percentage hitting and superb serving and defense.
Ronika Stone led the Warriors with 15 kills, Madeleine Dilfer added eight kills and a .467 hitting percentage along with 22 assists, and Kirsten Mead had eight kills, 15 assists and five aces. The Warriors had 11 blocks, with Ashlyn Fleming leading the way by sharing in eight.
"The girls stepped up their game tonight," Valley Christian coach Jeff Kim said. "We served aggressive, we took care of the ball on serve receive and we did a great job terminating."
Valley Christian led the opening set 21-16, then pulled away with a combo block from Fleming and Mead, a Fleming kill and a Fleming/Stone block. In the second, a 10-1 run put the set out of reach. The final set was one-sided, with the Warriors bolting to a 10-0 lead.
Menlo (32-6) made its first trip to the state title match since 2002 and started strong, but Francis Parker awoke in the latter part of the second set and rolled.
The Knights were led by Lida Vandermeer with 13 kills, and nine kills each from Morgan Dressel and Maddie Stewart. Elisa Merten had 37 assists and Maddy Frappier had seven kills and 19 digs.
The Lancers (29-5) won their second straight title and eighth overall.