The Moore League girls’ volleyball clash between Long Beach Poly and Wilson on Tuesday has surly set the stage for an exciting season as the Bruins made history by beating the visiting Jackrabbits 25-22, 11-25, 25-18, 25-22 for the first time in eight years.
“The girls played with heart,” Wilson coach Carlos Briceno said. “They followed the game plan and they stuck to it. It’s been a bumpy road with some injuries, but the girls were able to pull it together and keep their wits about them and stay focused.”
Wilson junior Risa Sena put down a team-high 11 kills while getting in on four blocks with senior Samiya Terry, who was in on a game-high seven blocks. Juniors Katherine Mumm and Doris Chuang chipped in nine kills apiece.
“It feels really amazing,” Sena said. “We came into this game knowing that we could do it. We knew we’d have setbacks, but in the fourth set we really wanted to close.”
After the first three sets were decided by comfortable margins, there were seven ties in the fourth set before Wilson pulled away with strong defense. Sena and Terry combined for three blocks in the final five points to clinch the victory.
“As you can see I cried,” Terry said. “After four years it’s a dream to beat them. I feel like we can take Moore League.”
Poly was led by Adonia Faumuina’s team-high 11 kills while middle blockers Rylie McGinest and Kaia Brown combined for 22 kills.
“I’m not surprised at the result,” Briceno said. “Poly is obviously a great team with a lot of talented players. But we have something special going on here. We have a group that’s been playing together for awhile. They have confidence in each other and it showed.”
Wilson jumped out to an early lead thanks to an hot start from Mumm and Chuang on the way to its set one win. Poly responded strongly in the second set by feeding its middle blockers, but in the third set, the Bruins rededicated themselves to the middle block and that ended up putting pressure on the Jackrabbits outside hitters.
“When we got them out of system we did a really nice job of closing the block, being disciplined and taking the areas away,” Briceno said.
Poly is ranked No. 4 in the the CIF Southern Section Division 1/2 poll this week, and Wilson is ranked No. 7 in Division 3.
“I’m numb,” Briceno said after the win. “It’s nice. I can’t tell you it’s not.”