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Top Long Beach Volleyball Teams Open Season at Lakewood/Molten Tournament

Mike Guardabascio

The562’s coverage of volleyball in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Misty-May Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation.

The first weekend of the volleyball season went well for the top teams in Long Beach and the Moore League, with Lakewood, Poly, Wilson, Millikan, and Cabrillo all competing in the Lakewood/Molten Tournament. The Lancers and Jackrabbits compete in the Division 1 bracket at Artesia while Wilson and Millikan competed in Division 2 at Wilson; the teams went a combined 6-2 on the day with the Lancers, Bruins and Rams all going 2-0.

All of the teams will be playing in matches next Saturday, we’ll post a schedule of that day’s matches early next week.

CLICK HERE for our full volleyball preview from earlier this week with a breakdown of every team.


The562’s coverage of Lakewood athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Lancers alum JP Crawford.

No surprise the defending Moore League champions got their season off to a strong start as they swept La Canada to start the day and then swept South Torrance, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18.

“We’re still giving up too many unforced errors, we gave up 35 points in the first match,” said Lakewood coach Mike Wadley. “

The Lancers knew they’d be relying on their senior leader trio of outside hitter Samarah DaCoud, setter Fatima Hall, and libero Cortni Youngblood, and they did just that on day one. DaCoud looks like she’ll be one of the gems of the SoCal volleyball scene as she played above the net in both matches and showed off a high-velocity jump-serve as well.

“She jumps high and she swings hard and she sees the court really well,” said Wadley of his New Mexico commit.

DaCoud had 17 kills in both of the Lancers’ matches.

Hall paced the Lancers’ offense to a .326 attack against South, and Youngblood posted a team-high 15 digs.

The good news for the Lancers is that their younger players or players in new positions look like they might arrive ahead of schedule too. Lala Hall contributed throughout as did Zaria Thornton, who had the game-sealing kill in the middle in the first set against South. Jade Epps made the transition to the OH2 position smoothly and had seven kills.

DaCoud said the team’s ability to integrate new players quickly comes from their off-court chemistry.

“If I’m playing alongside Jade, who hasn’t been an outside, I know here and I know what she’s comfortable and what she’s not comfortable with,” said DaCoud. “We all know how to support each other.”


The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management. 

The Jackrabbits were shorthanded without starting libero Taylor Mercado on opening weekend and are using the first part of the nonleague season to try and figure out what to do at the all-important setter position. Junior Halie McGinest, the team’s best hitter, was pressed into service at setter last year due to a lack of other options and coach Megan Moenoa is looking at how to go forward this season.

The Jackrabbits lost their opening match in straight sets and then fell against St. Joseph in their second match 26-24, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17.

“We didn’t look so good this morning but I was really happy with how the team responded and fought in game two with a completely different lineup than we’ve even tried all week,” said Moenoa.

The Jackrabbits tried a 6-2 in the morning but had McGinest back as their lone setter in the afternoon, with Imajaleah Goggins (8 kills) on the right side and Saniay Kimbrough (8 kills) and Cynthia Hinajosa (8 kills). McGinest did a good job moving the ball around, and the Jackrabbits have a definite bright spot with their young, athletic middles. Sophomores Kristen Dear and Layla Moore combined for eight kills at MB.

JoJo Fuamatu had 12 digs at libero.


The562’s coverage of Wilson athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Bruins alum Joel Bitonio. 

The Bruins won both matches on Saturday as they defeated Bishop Amat and West Torrance to win their pool.


The Rams swept Canyon and then beat Valley Christian in five sets to win their pool on the day. Rams coach Ashleigh Atsaros said that Elle Lundahl had a strong day as did opposite hitter Jackie Frost.


The562’s coverage of Cabrillo athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by The Cohn Family. 

The Jaguars fell to Whittier and La Salle, both in four sets.

VIDEO: Lakewood, Long Beach Poly Volleyball Highlights
Long Beach High School Girls’ Volleyball Preview
Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.