Marymount Completes Championship Season

When a team with four returning starters and nine seniors meets a team without a returning starter and just one senior, the result is often predictable. That's why Marymount's 15-5, 15-6, 15-7 win over Menlo in the Div. IV state championship match Saturday morning was anything but surprising.

"We expected to win," said Marymount head coach Cari Klein, whose Sailors captured their second consecutive state title. "They knew from last year that this is what they wanted."

Playing impenetrable defense and displaying an effective middle attack to complement outside hitters Stesha Selsky and Cara Thomason, Marymount, ranked No. 14 in the nation by Student Sports, sparred with Menlo in the early parts of all three games before asserting their dominance. As usual, match MVP Haley Jorgensborg was outstanding with her sets and left-handed smashes from the right side. But the Sailors got a huge performance from 6-foot-3 middle blocker Virginia Levanas, who put away quick sets with authority all day against Menlo's defense.

Marymount also did an effective job serving against the younger Knights. The Sailors recorded four aces in Game 1, including the game winner by Teryn O'Reilly; and four more in Game 3, including the final ace by Thomason that ended Menlo's season.

Menlo (30-5), the NorCal champs, couldn't get anything going against the tough defense of the experienced Marymount crew.

"It is tough playing against seniors who have been there before," said Menlo head coach Ryan Cooling. "We knew it would be a tough match and they'd have good ball control. They didn't make mistakes. That's what a senior team does."

Levanas led Marymount with 14 kills, while Selsky added nine kills and four aces. Jorgensborg had seven kills and 15 assists. No Menlo player had more than five kills.

After the match, it was all smiles for a Marymount team that set high goals at the beginning of the year and accomplished them all.

"Last year when we won state we were on Cloud 9," Jorgensborg explained. "This year, we said we ARE winning state."

There is one regret, however. "I wish we were in Div. I playing Torrey Pines," Jorgensborg said. "I want to play against the best; against a team wanting to kick our butts. So we can say, ‘Right back at ya!'"

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