The talent-loaded Long Beach Poly girls’ volleyball team had a shaky start to its Moore League schedule this year, but finished on a dominant tear, sweeping through the second half of league play. That campaign ended Thursday afternoon with a dominant sweep of rival Lakewood on Poly’s home floor, as the Jackrabbits won the Moore League championship with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-6 victory over the Lancers.
It’s Poly’s third consecutive league title—they shared it with Lakewood in 2017 and won it outright last year.
“We really wanted to win league for all of our seniors,” said Poly sophomore outside hitter/setter Adonia Faumuina. “We’ve let up in matches before and we didn’t want to do that today, we wanted to keep pushing.”
The Jackrabbits got their most consistent effort of the season passing the ball, with libero Grace Abdoo (13 digs) and back row specialists Nicaylah Iamaleava (7 digs) and Meredith Houston controlling the match from the back line. Their passing allowed Poly’s setters, Faumuina and Pearl Tuliau, to set the Jackrabbit middles more effectively. The Jackrabbits also had eight service aces in the match.
“Grace and Nicaylah both had Division 1 type digs tonight,” said Poly coach Leland McGrath. “Some really big time plays.”
Abdoo said that she wanted to end her last Moore League season on top.
“We really focused on this match,” she said. “Everyone wanted it, we all wanted to end the season right.”
Poly went up quickly in all three sets, leading 6-2 in the first, 11-5 in the second, and 9-0 in the third. Lakewood’s defensive execution wasn’t at its best, and the Jackrabbits were able to capitalize on that. Poly had eight blocks in the match. The third set caught everyone by surprise as Poly got long service runs from Iamaleava, Tuliau and Faumuina to blow the doors off the regular season.
“I don’t ever expect to win a set like that against Lakewood,” said McGrath. “Nothing is safe in a Lakewood Poly match, it’s really easy to go up and then get humbled.”
Lakewood coach Mike Wadley took the loss in stride.
“We will be back next year,” he said. “Poly asserted themselves, they did a great job tonight, they made a lot of plays. We’ll be fine–this was a big learning experience for us. We bring out the best in each other, and it’s an honor to be a part of this rivalry for me, personally.”
Poly was led by Kamy Anaya, who had seven kills on .385 hitting, three digs, and four blocks. Kaia Brown had five kills and three blocks, Ellie Requejo had six kills and three aces, Aniah Cutler had four kills with no errors, Rylie McGinest had two kills and four blocks, and Faumuina had 13 assists, four kills, eight digs, and two blocks.
Lakewood was led by 16 digs from libero Alwen Pila, seven kills from Samarra DaCoud, four kills from Laura Williams, and five kills from Shayna Martinez. Freshman setter Fatima Hall had 18 assists for Lakewood.
Both teams await the CIF-SS playoff brackets, which will be released on Saturday afternoon. We’ll post them here once they come out.