The second match of the Steve Lewis Volleyfest was a quick one between Wilson and St. Anthony, matching up a pair of Long Beach programs with different agendas. Carlos Briceno’s Wilson team wanted to work on mental toughness ahead of a week where they’ll face Lakewood and Poly, while St. Anthony coach Alicia Lemauu is hoping to help her small private school program integrate into the Long Beach volleyball world, just a few years after she led them to their first CIF title.
In the end it was Wilson that prevailed in straight sets, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17.
“Right now we’re really working on mental focus and on re-focusing after things go wrong, bouncing back after an errant pass,” said Briceno. “This was a good win for us, hopefully we can transfer some momentum to this next week.”
The Bruins played the whole lineup against the Saints and were led by sophomore Rise Sena’s seven kills, nine digs, and two aces. Presley Parker had three aces and 18 digs in the win, while Gabby Sonnhalter had six kills and six digs.
For St. Anthony, this is the second contest so far this season against a Moore League opponent (they faced Millikan earlier in the year). It represents a shift in Lemauu’s scheduling philosophy.
“We’re used to playing against lower division teams and winning, this is the level we want to get to,” she said. “I think it’s a little shock for some of our girls when they see the other Long Beach teams and they’re learning about how good the culture is here. But it’s going to help us keep getting better.” The lesson is especially important with a team that’s basically all sophomores and juniors.
The Saints were led by Tiare Jennings’ eight kills, as well as seven kills and two blocks from Sam Ashworth. Setter Isabella Bareford (a Cal commit) had 31 assists and three aces.