Volleyball takes down Marymount for 3rd time

Well, well, well.

The Sierra Canyon girls volleyball team did its best Brittney Spears imitation Wednesday night in a crazy 15-25, 25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 15-13 victory against Mission League rival Marymount in an Open Division state playoff first-round match.

Oops! They did it, again.

The Trailblazers (34-4) took down Cari Klein’s club for an astonishing third time this season. Sierra Canyon split two league matches and won a Southern Section Division 1 pool-play match back on October 29th.

“Just crazy to beat a program like that three separate times in one season,” Sierra Canyon coach Stefanie Wigfall said. “We just kept battling. It was hard. We really got what we wanted a few days ago. Winning that championship has been what we have been working hard for, for a few years now. We would love to win the state title, as well.”

Sierra Canyon looked like a team that was just mentally spent in the first set. Passing was subpar, setting was subpar, communication was subpar. It all added up to a quick 10-point setback.

However, things turned around for the Trailblazers behind a raucous student section in the north end of the gym.

Pitt-bound Olivia Babcock came alive. Kill after kill, dig after dig. Babcock was sensational, sending home points nearly every timeĀ Sierra Canyon needed one.

Babcock was named an AVCA first-team all-american earlier in the day and she showed exactly why.

“There is not much more to say about Olivia,” Wigfall said. “She is an absolute rock star. She is definitely one of the best players in the country. She has God-given ability and works hard. That’s a lethal combination.”

Sierra Canyon led two sets to one and was on its way until Marymount mounted a comeback of its own.

The Sailors would not go lightly behind Pitt-bound Torrey Stafford. Stafford was almost as good as Babcock. The two will be on the same college squad next year. Now, that’s really scary. Stafford threw down some vicious kills and helped Marymount extend it to five sets.

Marymount (30-9, 13-7 in five-set matches) took a 2-0 lead in the final set to 15. Sierra Canyon stormed back and ahead 11-9 before the Sailors tied it at 11-11.

Sierra Canyon just made a few more plays down the stretch to advance to Saturday’s regional semifinals at 6 p.m. at home against Mira Costa, the Southern Section Div. 1 runner-up to the Trailblazers.

“I guess we just have to beat everybody multiple times,” Wigfall said. “We are up for the challenge.”