The first two practices of the week for the Redondo girls volleyball team set the tone for the week.
“We had two unbelievable practices Monday and Tuesday,” Redondo coach Tommy Chaffins said. “We took Wednesday off and we basically played (Thursday) like we practiced.”
The Sea Hawks, the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 and 2 poll and No. 2 in the state according to Cal-Hi Sports, carried the momentum into their Bay League match on Thursday, sweeping visiting Palos Verdes 25-14, 25-11, 25-14.
“That was probably the first match in a while where every player who played rated a ‘B’ or above,” Chaffins said. “If we’re firing like we were, everyone playing well, we just have a lot of talent.
“(Junior setter) Kami (Miner) is such a smart and athletic setter and she gets to pick who to spread the ball around to, and (senior libero) Nalani (Iosia) is so great in the back row. … That was probably our cleanest three sets in a row that I can recall.”
Redondo (26-3, 6-0), who swept PV in the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 25, jumped out to a lead in the opening set, forcing PV into a timeout with the score 12-6 after a block by Jody Smith.
PV (16-8, 3-3) had a 4-2 lead early in the set, and that was the only time in the match it had the lead.
PV was playing without Coach Patrick Lynch, who was out sick, and the team was trying to rebound from a tough five-set loss to Mira Costa earlier in the week.
“Two tough matches in one week, we’ve had girls sick and we’ve been trying to recover and we didn’t have it all today,” PV assistant coach Lacey Minzlaff said.
Both teams will play Friday and Saturday in the Power Classic Tournament, hosted by Redondo. The Sea Hawks are the top seed.
“As simple and corny as it sounds, we just have to keep getting better,” Chaffins said. “We aspire to win the Division 1, the highest division championship, and that is a lofty goal. Only one team gets to say they win the highest division in the CIF Southern Section and we feel we’re one of 7-8 teams that can do that.
“We just have to keep getting better.”
Redondo played without senior Maya Harvey and junior Ava Kirunchyk, who were in Italy competing in the ISF World Schools Beach Volleyball Championships. Harvey and Kirunchyk won the gold medal in the 18s division.
“It’s pretty neat to go to Italy, represent your school and the U.S. and play against Brazil in the finals,” Chaffins said.
Redondo’s depth made it a smooth transition.
“Lauren Osborne and Mele (Corral-Blagojevich) came in and played very high-level volleyball,” Chaffins said. “Great serving, smart hitting. They were spectacular.”
PV will be the eighth seed in the Power Classic and will host its pool-play matches.
“I want to see more heart,” Minzlaff said. “We have a lot of talent, it’s just putting it all together. They’re very talented and when they’re playing, they are going to be a tough team to beat.”