Culver Volleyball Girls Win CIF Championship!
Come-From-Behind 3-2 Victory Tops Rival SaMoHi For 2nd Consecutive Title
November 16, 2017
The Culver City Girls Volleyball team won the CIF Southern Section Division 4 Championship in five sets this afternoon as they overcame a 2-1 deficit in dramatic fashion over Ocean League rival and perennial powerhouse Santa Monica High.
The Centaur home bleachers erupted in ecstasy when senior outside hitter Lena Johnson delivered the final blow off a Viking block as the Culver girls took the fifth and final set, 15-10, in the 2017 Girls' Volleyball Championships at Cerritos College in Norwalk this Saturday, November 11.
The Culver girls leaped and swirled into a joyous mass frenzy seconds later on the court celebrating their unprecedented second consecutive CIF title. They took the first set 25-15 before SaMoHi steadied its game to take the next two sets: 25-21 and 25-23. Culver stormed back in the fourth set 25-15.
Under Head Coach Tanner Siegal, the Culver High girls have now won back-to-back CIF Championships after having earned the 2016 CIF Division 5 title in a 3-1 win over La Reina High of Thousand Oaks last season. In a telling sign of how far the girls volleyball program has progressed, Culver City beat Santa Monica in all four meetings this season.
"They did a great job of sticking together after going down 2 games to 1," said Siegal following the presentation ceremonies. "No panic. Just a ton of trust in each other and knowing that we can still get the job done."
"And a ton of confidence and love all around from each and every one of them. Not one player thought that we couldn't get the job done after going down 2-1... and it showed today. Two in-a-row, back-to-back."
The 2017 CIF Champions: Jessica Stewart, Jayli Nealy, Megan Shimoda, Octavia Collins, Lena Johnson, Lauren Tishkoff, Halen Anderson, Kylie Nakashima, Ana Gonzalez, Itzley Cerda, Halen Anderson, Anne Coury, Kilei Parker-Bennett, Karina Hernandez, Sofia Cerecedes, Sophia Muller, Sasha Holland and Ali MacGaffey.
The reigning champs will now set their sights on the 2017 CIF State Girls Volleyball Championships. The Regionals begin this Wednesday, November 15--time and place TBD. The Division 4 Finals will held at Santiago Canyon College in Orange on Saturday, December 2.
Siegal: "We take it one game at a time. We'll celebrate this one tonight, tomorrow. And then we're back to work on Monday preparing for State. That's the mindset of this team."
Stay tuned for the full story, stats and interview of the Girls' Championship victory in this week's upcoming issue of the Culver City Observer.