Chaminade wraps up emotional season with state women’s volleyball title

Keira Brady jumped for a spike, the ball hit hardwood and head coach CJ Suarez felt his legs give out.

There are few more energetic women’s volleyball coaches in Southern California than Suarez, who gave the West Hills Chaminade women’s team her all for one last time this season on Saturday night. He raised his fist after an ace in the second set. He screamed, gutturally, after big points, raising his Gatorade cup to the Chaminade crowd ahead of a deciding fourth set.

So when Brady’s last spike took Chaminade’s Division II final victory over Fresno Clovis North, Suarez delivered a final two-handed punch – then collapsed to the ground as his assistants fell to hug him in her arms.

“It’s like I can’t – all the weight is gone and I can move a bit more freely, the season is over,” Suarez said of his fall to the floor. “It’s just crazy.”

An emotional year for Chaminade was capped off with a Division II state championship on Saturday night, as Chaminade used a third-set turnover to beat Clovis North 3-1 (25-19, 13-22, 25-19, 25-22). Junior Brady finished with 21 kills, while senior captain Danit Cohen – who received the biggest acclaim after the game – often set her up with 41 assists.

After a dominant first set, Chaminade stumbled in the second, with Clovis North blocking and digging in any Aigle attack. But after falling 7-4 in the third set, Chaminade started to chain the points, and the energy in the stands started to build as Suarez raised his hand with every kill.

“Just, ‘Oh, there’s Chaminade, finally’…it takes a moment streak,” Suarez said after the game.

Ten years ago, Suarez was a senior at Verdugo Hills, preparing for a City Section Division 2 championship against Jordan High. The Dons lost in three sets, and the loss remained with Chaminade’s coach. He went to college, trying to figure out his life, unsure of finding his way back to a high school championship.

Saturday’s win was a bit of personal redemption for Suarez. An indescribable feeling, as he said. And that’s why he fell.

Buckley loses, but proves it’s a booming program

Saturday morning, Tina Wolfson went to Party City and bought six red wigs.

Later, in preparation for Sherman Oaks Buckley’s CIF Division 3 State Championship game at Santiago Canyon College, she passed them out to a crowd of Buckley supporters. Some were locked. Some, like those of Wolfson and his grandmother, were stringy. And they stood out comically amid a sea of ​​red Buckley shirts and pom-poms in the stands, supporting their small 830-student private school tucked away in Sherman Oaks.

“There’s a feeling that history is being made…for us to go this far, it elevates our school,” Wolfson said, she and her grandmother smiling in the stands.

They did not complete a dream season, as San Anselmo Williams won 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-23) in the final sets to claim a Division State title III. But even as the elated cries of the Williams girls echoed throughout the post-match media room, Buckley’s first-year coach Otis Glasgow was unwavering, asking his side to keep the runners-up trophy for a while. one minute.

“No team on Buckley’s campus has that trophy,” said Glasgow, whose preparation and exuberance led Buckley to a program-best 28-4 season. “No team. No team at all…has that medal.

Midway through a tight second set, the Williams crowd chanted “Who’s Buck-ley!”

It was their goal this season, said Wolfson’s daughter and 6-foot-2 middle tackle Sophia Wolfson, to put Buckley’s name on the California volleyball grid. And next season, Glasgow said, there is no cap for the program.

“Wherever you are, whatever division you’re in – if you play volleyball, you’ll know Buckley’s name,” Glasgow said.

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