Final season, for the Mission Hills Bishop Alemany women’ volleyball staff, was a funhouse of nightmares.
Take a step inside, and also you’d see high outdoors hitter London Wijay tearing her belly muscle. Proceed strolling, and there was Wijay getting stung by a bee, abruptly discovering she was allergic, and swelling up a lot she performed towards Marlborough one-handed. Curve round a bend, and there was outdoors hitter Gabi Polishuk slipping on a puddle and tearing her medial collateral ligament proper earlier than playoffs.
“We all wanted to overcome these weird, freak accidents,” Polishuk, now a junior, mentioned.
The Warriors escaped to win a Southern Part Division 4 title after beginning unranked. They’ve moved as much as Division 3 this season, and after lengthy feeling like an underdog, have the objective to win a stacked Mission League normally dominated by groups like Los Angeles Marymount and Studio Metropolis Harvard-Westlake.
Then, earlier than the season, Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, boasting an armada of expertise together with 6-foot-4 Pittsburgh commit Olivia Babcock, joined the league. A much-needed inflow of competitors for the Trailblazers — however one other “beast to prepare for,” as Alemany coach Morgan Wijay mentioned, for the remainder of the Mission League.
“Kind of annoying, I’m not gonna lie,” Morgan Wijay mentioned.
Alemany is rapidly establishing that it’s not a lower-division afterthought, even when most everybody on the roster is undersized.
The 5-foot-10 Wijay, final yr’s Division 4 participant of the yr, desires to show peak doesn’t matter with regards to hitting. She grew up a “gym rat” to a longtime coach in Morgan, she mentioned, taking naps in volleyball carts. Now, she’s dedicated to Texas A&M and signed with advertising and marketing company Endurance Sports activities Administration to discover NIL offers.
Their largest measuring stick will probably be towards Sierra Canyon on Tuesday. A win could be a monumental upset — however everybody believes they’ll get it accomplished, Polishuk mentioned.
“Being as short as we are, we have a chip on our shoulder to go beat out tall girls,” she mentioned. “That team is tall, and they have power. And we’re not giving up [against] them.”
Listed below are The Instances’ up to date Southern Part rankings as league play will get underway, with earlier rating:
1. Mira Costa (1): Subsequent massive take a look at is Sept. 27 at Redondo Union.
2. Sierra Canyon (2): Early-season loss to Mira Costa is the one factor retaining them from the highest spot.
3. Mater Dei (5): Received Silver Division of Durango Traditional on Saturday.
4. Marymount (4): Again-to-back runner-up on the prestigious Dave Mohs and Durango Traditional tournaments the previous two weekends.
5. Redondo Union (3): Junior Addy Benefield, a switch from Canada, appears to be like like a difference-maker, however Sea Hawks had subpar exhibiting at Durango.
6. Huntington Seaside (6): Hung robust with Marymount at Dave Mohs in eventual loss.
7. San Clemente (not ranked): Upstart Tritons rise after knocking off Sierra Canyon, Palos Verdes, Mater Dei.
8. Lakewood (7): Risk to any staff on any given evening.
9. Alemany (not ranked): Beat Harvard-Westlake, final week’s No. 9-ranked staff, in three units.
10. Palos Verdes: Sophomore Kaci De Maria attracts buzz wherever she goes.
Metropolis Part dogfight
As a lot of a toss-up because the Southern Part has been, a month into the beginning of the season, there’s even much less readability on tips on how to rank the highest six groups within the Metropolis Part.
Woodland Hills Taft was The Instances’ top-ranked staff two weeks in the past. However, as coach Arman Mercado mentioned Wednesday, they might present up towards Granada Hills and “completely lay an egg.”
Granada Hills beat Taft in three units Thursday.
“There are so many good programs right now,” Palisades coach Carlos Grey mentioned.
High 5 within the Metropolis Part with earlier rating:
1. El Camino Actual (1): Notched a five-set win over Granada Hills on Sept. 12.
2. Granada Hills (3): Like El Camino, have toughened up by taking part in Southern Part opponents.
3. Taft (1): As groups focus consideration on Julia Bazylevych and Prior Borick, Mercado mentioned, junior 6-2 center Claire Mussell has his vote for staff MVP.
4. Palisades (4): Freshman outdoors hitter Annabelle Redaelli, whom Grey referred to as “special,” is an indoor and seaside standout.
5. Venice (2): Have gone 0-3 towards Palisades this season.