The girls volleyball team from Point Loma High has won a California state CIF title, believed to be the first such accomplishment of any sport at the school in three decades.
Going into the state tournament ranked as the No. 1 seed in Div. III (based on schools of similar enrollment) the Pointers stormed to victory, winning their final match at Orange County's Santiago Community College last Saturday after previously winning the Southern California crown on their home court.
The local girls faced Lincoln High's Mustangs (San Francisco), Northern California champion, who were making their first trip to the state tournament.
But after losing last year's Div. IV state finals to Menlo School (Atherton) the Pointers were determined to play their best in this year's tournament.
The Pointers won the first two sets by scores of 25-18 each, but found themselves behind 25-24 in the third. That's when last year's experience allowed the players to relax, stay focused and win three straight points for a 27-25 third set win and sweep of the Mustangs.
"I'm ecstatic," said senior Charlie Ekstrom, "we've wanted this more than anything this season. It's an incredible moment for our team since we won this year in a higher division than last year."
Sophomore Maggie Wolf led the team with 38 assists in the match while Ekstrom had 17 kills and junior Sierra Caffo had 16.
The last time a Point Loma High team won a state championship is thought to be the famed girls basketball teams of coach Lee Trepanier who won four consecutive state titles between 1984-87, according to avid Pointer sports fan and Class of 1968 alum Don Szalay. This would mark the 30th anniversary of that team's last win.
Going into the match, these were the comparisons between the two volleyball finalists:
Overall record: Lincoln 36-8, Pointers 22-12.
League record: Lincoln 14-0, Pointers 5-3.
Rank in all of California: Lincoln 84th, Pointers 36th.
Rank Within Local Section: Lincoln (San Francisco Section): 33rd, Pointers (San Diego Section): 6th.
During the five-match state tournament, the Pointers won 15 sets, losing only three as three opponents were unable to win a single set from them.
When they advanced to last year's finals, the Pointers didn't have a senior on the roster. This year there are seven graduating seniors while seven juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen return to lead the team next year.