June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Top-seeded Beckman defeats Canyon in semifinals and earns first trip to CIF title match

Beckman’s girls volleyball team gets together for a photo after defeating Canyon in three sets Saturday. (Photos: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Beckman High School’s top-seeded girls volleyball team defeated Canyon in three sets Saturday evening in the CIF Division 3 semifinals at Beckman to advance into the finals for the first time in the program’s history.

A big crowd which included plenty of Canyon and Beckman fans was on hand for the match.

Beckman reached the CIF finals in 2016 but came up short.

Beckman (33-5) will face Campbell Hall in the finals next Saturday at either Cerritos College or Beckman.

“We’re excited about that, we heard early on the season we knew as a Division 3 team, we had a real opportunity,” said Beckman Coach Darin McBain. “We started out the season really hot. We’re a good team, we do a lot of things really well.

“We dig everything, defensively we are so good. We knew they had some offensive weapons and had a game plan and in that first set we executed it perfectly. Second set, we got down 8-1, but then right back to it. To be down 8-1 in the semifinals and win that was huge because anything can happen.”

The scores were 25-9, 25-20, 25-22.

To see additional photos, click on the first picture:

After dropping the first set, Canyon, the North Hills League champion, jumped out to a big lead before Beckman battled back.

“This is big for us,” McBain said. “We have a lot seniors, we’re graduating 11 seniors and I play 10 or 11 girls every night and I think eight or nine of them are seniors. This is a senior group that lined up really well for us and we’re excited about the opportunity to matter where it is.”

Senior outside hitter Nika Safavi had 14 kills, senior outside hitter Camryn Hayek had nine kills and three aces, senior setter Victoria Turner had nine kills and two blocks and junior opposite hitter Sophia Saad had five kills to lead Irvine.

Canyon’s season is not over as the Comanches will continue in the Southern California Regionals once the CIF finals are finished.

Canyon (21-4) had victories over Saugus, Roosevelt and Dana Hills to reach the semifinals.

“We just couldn’t quite get it going,” said Canyon Coach Matt Silva. “They kind of took it to us in set one and then in set two, I thought we might be able to steal it and they bounced back and that was kind of it. I’ve known Coach McBain on the boys side for four years, we’ve had some battles.

“Just a solid team effort by them. They wouldn’t let us get away with anything and served us fantastic and took us off our game and we couldn’t get our middles in.”

Silva said his team has made some progress.

“We weren’t even rated in the top 10 and we made it to the top four,” he said. “The girls are a close group and we still have state. I think they’re a little bruised and battered at this point so maybe a little rest will help us out and we can reassess and make a move in state.”

Silva was pleased with the leadership of two players Saturday.

“Rowan Dillard held it down and she stayed positive and got some good swings late in the game …. and Chloe Nguyen, our senior libero is kind of the anchor of our team and she served well. She stayed positive and kept the other girls up,” Silva said.

—-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com