The Seacrest Country Day volleyball team is finding just as much success in Class 3A as it did in 2A. The Stingrays advanced to the Class 3A-Region 3 championship after a three-set sweep of Out-of-Door Academy on Wednesday.
The Stingrays, who moved up to 3A this season after finishing as regional runners-up in 2015 and regional champions in 2014, handled the Thunder, 25-4, 25-16 and 25-13, and will have a rematch of the district title match against Evangelical Christian School at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“The girls played great,” Seacrest coach Jan Class said. “When we started the season, I told the girls that it would be a very different season and that we could have different results. We trained harder and they became more mature.”
The Stingrays (20-6) came out hot in the first set, building an immediate five-point lead and never looking back. Seacrest did it again in the second set, forging an eight-point win. In the third set, Seacrest and Out-of-Door kept the game close for the first nine points. After being tied at 9, the Stingrays pulled away to an 11-point win.
“Most of the teams we played last year were 3A,” Seacrest junior Gem Grimshaw said. “It’s just weird now that they’re in our division.”
Grimshaw led the Stingrays with 12 kills and seven digs, followed by Jarene Harberts with 10 kills and 15 digs, and Piper Matsumoto with six kills, 20 assists and five digs.
The young Out-of-Door team struggled to slow Seacrest’s offense in the first set, but found some of its footing in the second and third sets.
“I knew coming in that Seacrest was going to be tough competition for us,” ODA coach Stefanie Betz said. “I think if we came in believing that we had a chance, we could’ve done better. I don’t think that mentality set in until it was too late.”
Seacrest split its season with ECS, falling 3-2 in their first meeting, then picking up a 3-0 win at Evangelical last week.
“We are very excited about ECS,” Class said. “We’ve played them before, but they’ve played 3A before, so it’s going to be a challenge.”