On Monday, Mary Star reminded the Pirates who was the best program in all of San Pedro.
For the second time in four years, the visiting Stars took it to the Pirates in many facets during a convincing 25-14, 25-13, 25-13 victory to further cement their status as the top prep girls volleyball program in San Pedro, California. The Stars (4-2 overall) only trailed twice the entire night and found newer ways to win with their overall team depth to enhance team harmony against a San Pedro team that was making their 2019 debut.
Mary Star defeated San Pedro in four sets the prior meeting in 2016 which was played in front of a standing room only crowd at Mary Star High.
"We came out super strong," Mary Star junior outside hitter Serena Ramirez said. "Nobody could stop us with the mentality we had going into this match, but overall it was fun."
San Pedro (0-1) started off the match strong with a kill from senior outside hitter Alexis Avitia, but the wheels fell off quickly after as four consecutive attack errors would follow, and Mary Star was quick to take advantage and build an big early lead. Senior libero Mia Scognamillo served an ace, and then the Pirates committed four more attack errors and suddenly it was 11-1 in favor of the Stars after a kill from Ramirez and another Scognamillo ace before her service error finally ended the run.
With that first set victory, the Stars confidence continued to grow, and the Pirates only managed a brief one-point lead in the midway stages of the second set the rest of the way.
Nothing unnerved the Stars in front of a large standing room only crowd in the San Pedro gym as they maintained their focus for the duration of the contest, while the Pirates, even with the home court advantage, was admittedly flat in their execution.
Even though talented junior outside hitter Sammie Sabra had a career-low five kills on the night, it opened the door for others like Scognamillo and sophomore middle blocker Marlena Rivera to step up and take control for Mary Star. Not to mention the surroundings were very familiar to Ramirez, the Arizona verbal commit for beach volleyball who transferred from San Pedro to Mary Star in 2018.
"We have a great, well-rounded team," Mary Star senior outside hitter Marina Erosa said. "We play together as one and everyone contributes. We win as a team, we come out strong and wanting it all."
Ramirez would lead Mary Star with 13 kills, three aces and nine digs, while Erosa had eight kills, three aces and seven digs. Rivera had seven kills, two aces and two blocks, while Sabra also chipped in with a block, five digs and two aces, including the final ace serve on match point to seal the sweep.
Junior middle blocker Adamaris Vega led San Pedro with five kills, while Avitia and junior outside hitter Alyson Watson each had four kills for San Pedro, who continue play Wednesday at South East of South Gate.
Mary Star resumes play on Thursday at home against Bishop Conaty.