Long Beach Poly Volleyball Wilson

Girls’ Volleyball: Long Beach Poly, Wilson Share Moore League Title

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The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly is sponsored by Bryson Financial.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

The Long Beach Poly and Wilson girls’ volleyball programs were inexorably linked this season, so it’s apropos that the Jackrabbits and Bruins would share the 2023 Moore League championship.

Poly (24-9, 11-1) won their first meeting at home in September, and Wilson (25-9, 11-1) took the rematch earlier this week to pull even atop the standings.

While Poly easily beat last-place Compton on Thursday to finish the regular season, Wilson swept Lakewood 25-23, 25-18, 27-25 on the road to keep pace and share the championship. SEE PHOTO GALLERY

This is the first league title for Wilson since 2011.

“It’s huge for our girls, I know they’ve been waiting for this day,” Wilson coach Chris Ceballos said. “The last two seasons were strong performances but Lakewood was always the powerhouse. I think they all saw that this year could be their chance to take it with Chloe coming back for her senior year.”

Wilson’s Chloe Pravednikov, who is on the inside track to be Moore League Player of the Year, had to be an exceptional leader this year as well after coach Gerald Aquiningoc left in the offseason to coach Poly.

“When Gerald left and went to Poly, I think a lot of the wind was taken out of their sails,” Ceballos said. “Gerald was once a major reason why they were competing at a high level to see him now on the other side of the net with the team that was presenting the biggest challenge for them to get that title was tough on them. But it makes it sweet because we had to work hard and overcome adversity to make it all come to fruition. Some key newcomers joining forces with our core returners really made all of this possible. I think everyone is grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given. Humbled by the entire experience.”

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This is the first league title for Poly since 2019.

“I’m happy for (Wilson) and happy that they had a successful season,” Aquiningoc said. “Chris did a great job maintaining and adding some good value to the program there.”

“As for us, I couldn’t be prouder of my group after finishing fourth the past few years,” Aquiningoc added. “When I got on campus my question to them was, ‘Are we all in? Is it we and not me?’ I wanted to make it so that it was cool to be part of this program. We wanted to do cool things like play a great schedule, highlight them on social media… I’m just trying to revive what used to be. It’s a testament to them being coachable and having a willingness to learn. It was them taking ownership of the program and being proud to wear that uniform. The training happened, but it’s really all them. I really am excited about the next couple weeks.”

The CIF Southern Section playoff brackets will be released on Saturday.

PHOTOS: Wilson vs. Lakewood, Girls’ Volleyball
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.