Granite Hills in volleyball finals

The San Diego Section girls volleyball championships took place across six divisions last weekend (Nov. 4-5) at three county sites. Two East County teams were represented in the finals: Granite Hills in Division II and Helix Charter in Division III. Third-seeded Helix (16-12) defeated top-seeded Holtville (26-7) in four sets to win its first division title in five years while third-seeded Granite Hills (26- 13) placed runner-up to topseeded Bonita Vista (31-9) in a five-set thriller. “These girls fought hard all year as a group and overcame multiple different injuries and different lineups throughout the season,” Granite Hills coach Armando Fry said. “There is absolutely no quit in these girls and I’m so proud of each and every one of them. I’m just glad to have been along for the ride this season and see these girls grow and develop as players.” The Lady Eagles coach said the team had some absolutely outstanding performances in quite a few areas. Junior Delaney Fry had a breakout year offensively by amassing 433 kills and contributing 439 digs to the defensive effort. Senior Madison Bizjack was the team’s defensive anchor compiling 646 digs. Senior Madilynn Vance was a dominant blocker with 108 blocks and senior Meghan Rea was consistent at the setter spot adding 827 assists on the year. Sophomore Paisley Stednitz, a first-year starter, contributed 64 aces. “It really was a team effort to get to where we ended up and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to coach such a talented group of young ladies,” the Granite Hills coach said. Granite Hills tied with Helix for second place in the regular season Grossmont Hills League standings with 7-3 league records behind league champion El Capitan (10-0 in league play). Granite Hills received the No. 3 seed in the Division II playoff bracket and eliminated 14thseeded Christian in the opening round on Oct. 26. The Lady Eagles won 23-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18, 15-6 in a five-set thriller. Granite Hills swept the final three games while on the brink of elimination. The Lady Eagles extended their next opponent to five sets in dealing sixth-seeded San Dieguito Academy a 25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 15-10 setback on Oct. 29. Granite Hills eliminated second- seeded Point Loma with the same five sets strategy, winning 11-25, 20-15, 25-17, 25-21, 15-13 with a three-game surge at the end. Delaney Fry led the visitors with 16 kills while recording 14 digs Rea contributed 29 assists while Bizjak had 29 digs. Stednitz had five serving aces and 18 digs while Vance had five blocks. The division championship game, played Nov. 5 at Montgomery High School, would be no different as the Lady Eagles engaged top-seeded Bonita Vista with the outcome decided in – you guessed it — five sets. The Lady Barons won the first game 25-18 before Granite Hills rallied with a 27-25 win in the second game. The Lady Eagles took a 2-1 lead with a 25-21 victory in Game 3. Bonita Vista forced a deciding fifth game with a 25-17 win in Game 4 and won the CIF title with a 15-10 victory in the mini-game. As a CIF runner-up, Granite Hills qualified for the state playoffs as the No. 11 seed with a first-round regional game Tuesday in Huntington Beach against sixth-seeded Marina (19-14). The Division III playoffs were chock full of East County teams: Foothills Christian (second seed), Helix (third seed), West Hills (10th seed), Santana (12th seed), Steele Canyon (15th seed) Helix and Foothills Christian, however, were the only teams to advance to the quarterfinals. Santana (8-17) lost in four games to fifth-seeded Mira Mesa (10-16) while West Hills (9- 22) lost in a three-game sweep to seventh-seeded Mission Bay (22-15). Foothills Christian (23- 5) eliminated Steele Canyon (9-17) in another three-game sweep in an all-East County match-up. Helix defeated 14th-seeded Valley Center (5-21) and sixthseeded Canyon Hills (18-11) in three-game sweeps before toppling Foothills Christian (23-5) in four games in the semifinals. The Lady Highlanders advanced to meet top-seeded Holtville in the Division III championship game Nov. 4 at Westview High School. Helix won in four games 25-21, 24-26, 25-11, 25- 21. Helix last won a CIF title in 2017 when the Scotties also claimed the Division III championship. Senior Ella Giordano keyed Helix with 17 kills, seven blocks and three aces while junior Giuliana Guarnotta contributed eight kills and two blocks. Sophomore Kyra Miles had six kills and four blocks while senior Yordie Orelli and junior Temurisa Sagiao both had five kills in a well-rounded effort. Helix received the No. 14 seed in the Division III state regional playoffs and Woodland Hills Taft, seeded third, in Tuesday’s opening round.


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