Reseda battles a deep run in CIF City Section D3 playoffs

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Reseda girls volleyball have been on a high heat rise since 2021, breaking records for the last three consecutive seasons. In 2021, they earned their first win since 2017, a streak of 111 games, 56 non-league and 55 league games. Then, in 2022, they continued to gain more wins, and made the CIF City Section D3 playoffs, where they lost an agonizingly close contest to Triumph Charter 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 23-25, 13-15). This season, Reseda has had a significant winning streak, taking 11 straight league matchups after dropping their opener to Kennedy. That win streak led the Regents to their first Valley Mission League championship. They followed that with a deep run in this year’s playoffs.

During the quarterfinals on Monday, October 30, Reseda had their rematch with Triumph Charter. Both teams were coming off their wins from the previous week in the second round of the playoffs.

The Regents had a rough start to the first set. Reseda had some slip ups during the back-and-forth contest, which led to them being deprived of the win during the first set with the score being 26-24. Although they dropped the first set, the Regents made great strides; Gabriela Funes earning herself a kill, sophomore Layla Reyes serving four aces, and Alyssa Ornelas serving an ace. Reseda came back with their skills on full display in the second set with a 25-16 win and kept preserving.

The third set started with Reseda in the lead after Triumph Short came the first serve, missing earning the point. Regents senior Lindsay Berrios scored two kills and Reyes shortly after Triumph’s first two points, bringing the score to 6-2. Reseda and Triumph had many back and forth rallies until the score was 10-7. Reseda set the ball and attempted a kill, but was ultimately blocked, leading Triumph to earn a non rally point. Following misjudgment and miscommunications from Triumph, the score was brought to 15-9. Blocks and saves from both teams couldn’t save Reseda from tipping the ball as well as hitting the ball perfectly into Triumph’s block to score points. The set finished when Triumph hit the ball out of bounds once again, leaving the set score to be 25-12, giving the win to Reseda.

Tensions were high as the fourth set began. The Regents jumped out to a 4-0 lead before a missed serve and another mistake from Reseda brought the score to be 5-2. Reseda maintained superiority until a tie at 11-11 when Triumph made stretches. Racing to 25, the two teams continued tying each other as the result of shanks, out of bounds plays, and missed digs the remainder of the set until the final play, where Reseda bumped, set, then killed, delivering a 26-24 win.

The highly anticipated game win of 3-1 brought joy to the Reseda team and their many supporters. Reseda faced off Rancho Dominguez on Wednesday, November 1 for the CIF City Section D3 semifinals game. During the nerve wracking sets, Reseda ultimately fell short of qualifying for the CIF City Section Division 3 Championship after the fourth set 1-3 (25-19, 25-27, 17-25, 19-25).

Reseda came out strong in the first set with many successful rallies, kills, aces, and judgment calls. These plays Helped the Regents to win the first set, 25-19.

Reseda was in for an exhausting head to head set in set two. They scored the first point after a powerful kill made by their outside. That was followed by a few flaws during blocks and hits from Reseda where the score became 1-4. It was much trial and error to catch up, but Reseda finally tied Rancho Dominguez when a dig error occurred, 7-7. The Regents had fantastic kills by Layla Reyes, Emelia Gustavsson, and Alyssa Ornelas. Other than serves, Reseda was playing at a higher level during the semifinals compared to the other playoff games. The set remained tied consistently until 25-24, when the Regents unfortunately had a mis-hit, faced a kill to the end line, and a misserve, ending the set, 25-27.

Rancho Dominguez towered over Reseda following an early 1-1 tie, despite the Regents putting their best foot forward during the high tension rallies. The best play of the set came with the score at 9-16. Reseda made a kill because Rancho Dominguez didn’t communicate well and had two girls dig, causing dig errors. The Regent’s flaws came down to hitting and dig errors, as well as side-outs. Reseda put forth all their effort to catch up but the set came to an end at 17-25.

With their chances at qualifying for the Championship in danger, as it was already 1-2, the Regents were in it to win it, coming back with a different attitude. Rancho Dominguez had many faults in their rallies and had a double contact play keeping the set close. Despite Reseda’s efforts to stay ahead of mistakes, after the tie at 14-all the Regents began to fall behind, but continued fighting. Decisions weren't as communicative which led to Rancho Dominguez coming away with the win, 19-25.

As Reseda, the 2023 Valley Mission League Champions, close out their historic volleyball season, the underclassmen of the team continue to reflect on how they can continue to improve in all aspects of the game. The playoff loss is just an added stone to their fire for next year.

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