East County Sports

CIFSDS G. Volleyball: El Cap advances, Helix needs help



ECS staff report

LA MESA – The top-ranked El Capitan Vaqueros will play for the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship after whipping visiting Del Norte in straight sets in Wednesday’s (Nov. 1) semifinals, held at Foster Gym.

ElCapitan (27-7 overall), the 6-time reigning Grossmont Hills League champions, ran its winning streak to seven straight matches, out-lasting its opponents in total sets, 21-1.

The Vaqueros will face Francis Parker in Saturday’s finale. It’s the school’s second straight trip to the finale, hoping do better than last season’s loss in three sets to Santa Fe Christian.

Still, El Cap has qualified to advance to the CIF Southern California regional. In 2022, the Vaq Attack scored a road upset of powerful Oaks Christian before falling to Saugus.

In defeating Del Norte, the fifth seed, superior play at the net allowed El Capitan to dominate the diminutive Nighthawks.Outside spiker

Outside hitter Madison Triplett  (match-best 14 kills) and middle blocker Savannah Simpson (11 kills) rejected several Del Norte spiking attempts, leading a quick transition game led by setter Ruby Ennis to capture close action in the first two sets before running away late for the triumph.

Set scores were 26-24,25-23, 25-12.

For Del Norte (21-14), which tied for second place in the powerful Palomar League, it was the Hawks’ first 3-set setback in more than a month (Sept. 26 to Westview.

El Capitan’s title match will be held at Southwestern College at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Francis Parker, the second-seeded Lancers nipped Poway, in a 5-set marathon. The first two sets went into extended play” (overtime) before Parker escaped, 29-27, 25-27, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13.


Division II Semifinals

LA MESA — The Helix Highlanders, the top seeds in CIFSDS Division II, was one set away from a berth in the  championship match, but Our Lady of Peace bounded back to claim a fifth-set tiebreakers on Wednesday (Nov. 1) at Caledonia Gymnasium.

The Pilots (25-8 overall) rallied for a 15-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-23,15-13 triumph.

Helix (24-8) will learn about its future this weekend (probably on Sunday).

A year ago, the Highlanders pieced together an incredible 12-match winning streak.

Following a narrow loss to El Cap which gave the Vaqs the Grossmont Hills League title, Helix swept through five straight regular season opponents, then dominated postseason play.

The Scotties swept past Valley Center, Canyon Hills , Foothills Christian and Foothills Christian to take the CIFSDS crown.

A week later as the No. 15 seed for the CIF Southern California regional, Helix scored a series of road upset over Taft (Woodland Hills), Marina (Huntington Beach)and Exeter before finally faltering to No. 1 seed Buckley (Sherman Oaks) to fall a single mach sort of playing for the state championship.

With such history, the school is hopeful for another SoCal/State invitation.

Meanwhile, OLP will face Pacific Ridge for the section title this Saturday at 7 p.m.

— Compiled by Nick Pellegrino