San Pedro High Girls Volleyball 2021 Powers For Historic First

On this past Saturday, San Pedro High girls volleyball was denied a fifth CIF-Los Angeles City Section championship when Sylmar swept their way to a Division 1 title.

Tuesday was a different story, as the Pirates got the next best thing.

For the first time in seven tries, the third oldest school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) finally achieved their first ever playoff win in a CIF Southern California Regionals, as San Pedro girls volleyball defeated visiting North Hollywood 25-16, 25-12, 25-16 in the opening round of the Division 5 Regionals.

The Huskies (11-7) were coming in on a roll, sweeping all four matches to win the CIF-LACS Division 3 title this past Saturday, but San Pedro was relentless in pursuit of victory.

The fourth-seeded Marine League co-champion Pirates (17-11) stormed out to early big leads in the first two sets and only trailed once. There was little struggle in the third set, as North Hollywood held a 14-12 lead before San Pedro put the match away by scoring 13 of the final 15 points to complete a historic sweep.

San Pedro girls volleyball was 0-4 in CIF Southern California Regional matches, with the 2004, 2005 and 2018 CIF-LACS Division 1 championship teams, along with the 2017 Open Division playoff participant team all getting eliminated in the first round. San Pedro also lost CIF Southern California Regional first round games in 1986 with girls basketball, and again in 2010 with boys basketball, both of whom won a CIF-LACS title to advance to Regionals.

Two of San Pedro's biggest catalysts on this night, was the outstanding play of sophomore setter Kalia Teofilo and senior opposite hitter Alyssa Ortiz, as their combined serving skills lured North Hollywood into scrambling for both sustained rallies, and answers.

Teofilo matched her season high with 11 aces, also dealing out 13 assists to various teammates who were all willing to step up without talented juniors, and the Pirates' two top attackers in middle hitter Jamie Roth and outside hitter Elaine Turituri. Junior outside hitter Sam Brown (five kills), junior middle blocker Laila Jackson (five kills, three blocks), senior Lauren Phinessee (three kills) and even seldom-used senior Ruth Yape (two kills) all got their shots in.

Meanwhile, Ortiz played her best match of the season with a team-high seven kills, but was also deadly in the serving department with five aces. The libero tag team of senior Vanessa Martinez (12 digs) and junior Kennedy Kordic (8 digs) were also solid in keeping rallies alive. Anna Katsevich, another junior middle blocker, also shined with a pair of blocks.

With this monumental, bounce-back triumph, San Pedro will next host No.5 East of Bakersfield in the CIF-Southern California Division 5 Regional quarterfinals. East swept Pacifica Christian of Santa Monica in their opening match.

(Note: Photo by Miguel Elliot)

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