The Long Beach Wilson girls’ volleyball team saw its season come to an end Thursday night in a 25-19, 25-18, 25-20 loss to South Torrance in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.
After a second-place finish in the Moore League, the Bruins (21-13, 9-3) ran into a solid Spartans team led by Penn State commit Mandi Morioka.
With a 5-5 tie in the first set, the Spartans went on a 7-1 lead to put the set out of reach as Wilson trailed 12-6 after a couple of hitting and service errors.
“When you’re going up against a senior, experienced team that plays really good defense and serves well – we had to play our best,” Wilson coach Gerald Aquiningoc said. “We didn’t serve-receive well today, and it trickled down to everything else.
Morioka’s favorite target was Piper Bradley who finished the match with nine kills. Morioka finished the match with 14 assists.
Errors hurt the Bruins in the second set as South took a 5-1 lead early in the second set but Allanah Smith kept the Bruins in the match with a team-high 13 kills.
In the third set, Wilson battled back after trailing 5-1 again to cut South’s lead to 21-20 late in the set.
The Spartans then went on a 4-0 run to take the set and the match.
For Aquininigoc it was a successful first year as coach after getting off to a late start before the season.
“We took over the program and had I don’t know, maybe seven days to take over the program,” Aquiningoc said. “We had a bunch of injuries throughout the year and just the way the group has come together and take to the system and believe in the system and its exciting. It’s been a short, long year.”