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St. Anthony Volleyball

PREVIEW: St. Anthony Girls’ Volleyball Hosting CIF Semifinal

The St. Anthony girls’ volleyball team is going to have a tough task at home tonight at 5 p.m. when they host Ontario Christian in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 semifinal. Saints coach Alicia Lemau’u said the Knights are one of the best teams her team has faced since taking over the program six years ago.

“They’re a solid squad,” Lemau’u said. “They’ve been handling their business, and come in with a lot of experience.”

Ontario Christian (32-2) has been the top team in the division for most of the season. Senior Annaka Jorgensen leads her team with 408 kills this season (4.5 per set) as one of a few Knights committed to play at the next level. Ontario Christian is on a 14-game winning streak.

“I feel like we match up very well with them, it just comes down to who grinds it out the most,” Lemau’u said. “We need our most physical and together match.”

St. Anthony (22-10) is in its second CIF-SS semifinal in the last three years after winning the Division 4 title in 2016. This is the first time in almost 30 years that St. Anthony girls’ volleyball will host a semifinal.

The Saints got off to slow starts in all of their playoff matches, but most recently dominated Cerritos and Oak Hills in four-set victories. Lemau’u said her young team is riding the good vibes right now, especially junior middle blocker Gabby McPherson. She was one of three players who had a team-high nine kills in the quarterfinals win on Wednesday.

“There’s just something about her energy lately that she’s bringing to the court,” Lemau’u said. “Her kills really turned the team up.”

Come back tonight for LIVE score updates from St. Anthony.

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.