The Culver City high school girls volleyball team spiked their way into the CIF history books last Friday when they won the CIF Division 5 Championship at Cerritos College when beat La Reina 3-1. It was the first CIF championship in girls’ volleyball at Culver City.
Now the Centaurs have to get ready to play Los Angeles City section Carson in the California State Regionals. That game was played last Wednesday and that was after the Culver City News deadline. If they beat Carson they will probably play the second round of the regionals on Saturday. Please check with the school for the results of Wednesday’s game.
At Cerritos College last Friday the Centaurs were determined to make history. “The first thing I want to do is credit La Reina for a fantastic season and a great hard fought match,” said Culver City head coach 33-year-old Tanner Siegal during a halftime celebration at the football game last Friday night. “When we went up 2-0 La Reina really pressured us to play our best volleyball. It was really a challenge to stay focused on every point.”
The first year head coach tries to stay in the background and give the girls all the credit but winning the championship puts everyone involved in the program in the spot light. “You have to give credit to the girls,” said Siegal. “They made the plays at the right moment and luckily we were able to come out with a big win.”
Although Siegal knew he had talent he did not realize how much talent he inherited from former coach Joe Manzo. “We came into this season with high expectations and we just had to grind it out every day and as coaches we wanted to lead by example. Actually I did not believe in my wildest dreams that this was going to happen but we stuck with the process and we got it done.”
Another person that stuck with the process was team captain and four year Culver City volleyball player libero Krista Hernandez who was still holding the CIF trophy five hours after they won the match. “I am never going to let this trophy go,” said Hernandez with a big smile.
Hernandez never doubted her team. “I had a lot of faith in our team and we really worked hard this season. In those two hour practices everyday we tried to do everything perfect. We really wanted that championship ring. It’s amazing being a senior and everything came together.”
Another senior McKenna Stevens, said her mother told her at the beginning of the season that they were going to win the championship. “I really did not believe it was going to happen until it really did and I broke down and started crying. This is a once in a life time opportunity.”