The Redondo girls volleyball team was on a mission Thursday night to win a third consecutive Bay League title.
Thanks to the play of four-year seniors Jody Smith, Nalani Iosia, and Lauren Osborne, who combined for 28 kills eight blocks and six aces, Redondo (35-3, 8-0) swept visiting Mira Costa (22-6, 7-3) 25-20, 25-15, and 25-17.
Redondo will most likely be the top-seed when the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoff brackets are released Saturday.
Redondo’s senior class is trying to do something this season that has escaped them each of the past three years, winning a CIF Southern Section Division I title and then following it up with a state title. The Sea Hawks have not won a state title since 2015 and have not won CIF Southern section title since 2014.
“I’m just super happy right now. The team pulled together and played well. It is a good win for us going into the playoffs,” said Smith who had 10 kills and five blocks in the match. “It was a great feeling playing so well on senior night.”
In the first set Mira Costa kept right with Redondo throughout the set trailing 18-17, but Redondo closed it out winning seven of the final 10 points led by three kills by Osborne and two by Smith.
In the second set the two teams traded points early with Redondo pushing ahead 10-9, but that’s when the Sea Hawks would catch fire behind five more kills by Osborne and three Iosia aces.
Iosia was a little nostalgic after the match as only three years ago she was a freshman watching her older sister Norene enjoying her senior night while the younger Iosia watched most of the match from the bench.
“It is sort of surreal that three years ago I was watching Norene play never imagining it would be me doing the same thing. It all went by so fast,” said Iosia who had five kills 12 digs and five aces. “We just have to keep playing the way we are knowing that we have a target on our back being ranked 3rd in the nation.”
In the third and final set Redondo jumped out to a 19-6 lead behind Osborne and Smith who had four kills each and held off a furious Mira Costa rally (scoring 11 of 13 points) to take the set and the match 25-17.
“I’m just happy with my team the way we played tonight. Everyone was so excited to play and I’m happy we got the win,” said Osborne who finished with a match-high14 kills. “We know there is some pressure on us to win, but once we get out on the court and play it’s a faceless opponent. As long as we do the tings we do we will do well.”
Mira Costa is also headed to the CIF-SS playoffs and despite losing to Redondo head coach Cam Green thinks his team is primed to ace a run in the playoffs.
“It was a tough match, but they are a very good team and they played like it tonight. They were ready to go and we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities,” Green said.”I liked the way we kept fighting until the end especially in that third set. If we can take advantage of our opportunities we can do well in playoffs.”