Earlier this season, Wilson’s girls’ volleyball team defeated Long Beach Poly for the first time since 2011, a result that has largely fueled the competitive standings race in the Moore League this season. It’s a loss that’s been on the Jackrabbits’ mind, and they flipped the result on Thursday afternoon at home, sweeping the Bruins 25-16, 25-19, 25-22.
“We were really fired up for it, we felt that we didn’t put our all into the last time we played them,” said sophomore middle blocker Rylie McGinest. “We worked really hard to be prepared for this match.”
McGinest was excellent for Poly with eight kills in the middle and no errors, as well as a match-high four blocks. Fellow sophomore stud Adonia Faumuina had 10 kills, 19 assists, six digs, and two blocks–she wasn’t as individually dominant as she’s been in some matches this year, including a sweep of Lakewood last week, and Poly coach Leland McGrath was happy to see his team step up as a group.
“It was a collective effort, that was really great to see,” he said.
Elle Requejo had six kills, and libero Grace Abdoo had 20 digs in the match.
There were a host of college coaches on hand to watch Faumuina and McGinest, with Texas, UCLA, the University of Washington, and Long Beach State, among others. McGrath said he knew that bring some additional pressure on his players.
“There wasn’t a gym in America with a better presence than this gym had an hour ago, and that’s going to stress people out a little,” he said. “There’s a big difference between hitting a ball out in a league match and hitting it out in front of Texas and UCLA and all those guys.”
“It gets you more hyped but it is more pressure as well,” said McGinest.
Wilson was down key hitter Risa Sena, which tied the Bruins’ hands from the start. Sena broke her finger at the Durango Tournament in Las Vegas, and Wilson coach Carlos Briceno is hoping she’ll be back by the start of the playoffs in a few weeks.
“We did some really good things, we served into great spots, but then we break down after the serve,” said Briceno. “We didn’t communicate well, we have to put it all together earlier.”
Poly controlled most of the match and led 21-7 in the third set, but Wilson made a furious comeback thanks to a 10-0 service run by setter Jaedyn Gonzalez.
“We’re still pretty athletic without Risa, we just need to get it together,” said Briceno.
Wilson was led by eight kills from Kylee Solin, four from Katherine Mumm and Doris Chuang. Chuang and Mikayla Nolte had three blocks apiece.
Poly’s next big league match will be against Lakewood, back at Poly on October 17. Wilson travels to Lakewood on Tuesday.