No player has ever reached the level that Irvine Valley sophomore outside hitter Olivia Aguilar achieved Sunday, Dec. 3.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore delivered a state championship final match record 30 kills as she rallied the Lasers from a set down to capture the 2017 CCCAA State Women’s Volleyball title in defeating San Joaquin Delta, 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16, at Solano College in Fairfield.
In the process, her hitting helped Irvine Valley complete a perfect season at 27-0.
The Lasers and Mustangs (25-5) reached the final by both making it through five-set semifinal victories on Saturday night.
IVC led, 10-5, in the first set but Delta fought back and eventually took a 16-15 lead. Amilya Thompson pounded her eighth kill for set point and a 1-0 Mustangs lead. While Delta and the partisan North region crowd got excited, Aguilar, who had seven kills in the first set, had other plans in mind than watching her team lose another set.
It sounded like a broken record on the public address microphone as “kill by Aguilar” was called out frequently at the start of the second set. She knocked down four kills on four consecutive plays assisted by sophomore setter Megan Ramseyer for an 11-3 IVC lead. In all, Aguilar, from El Toro High, scored a ridiculous 10 kills in 21 attempts in a 9-point game win that tied the match at 1-1. The tide had turned.
In the third set, Delta responded to take an 11-7 lead, but Aguilar again started peppering the Delta defense with powerful swings, landing four kills in a 9-5 run. The Lasers went ahead, 20-19, on an ace by sophomore libero Gabi Lau.
Two more Aguilar kills and an assisted block gave IVC the game at 25-20 and a 2-1 sets lead. In the fourth set, Delta had seen enough and faded in a series of attack errors and other mistakes. Irvine Valley went on an 8-2 run to close out its second state title in four years, and the first by a Southern California region team since 2014.
Aguilar talked about her team keeping things together after losing the opening set.
“I think the Canyons match helped us from the night before,” she said. “So we didn’t let being behind bother us. We just went about making sure we play our type of game, and that if we did, we would come out on top.”
The tourney MVP hit .348 overall and totaled a tourney-high 69 attacks with six errors. She added 10 digs, two aces, and three blocks.
All-tourney selection Taira Ka’awaloa, a sophomore outside hitter, added 15 kills. The All-American Ramseyer…