Inside the FAB 50: Mater Dei marches to title at Cal Challenge

By Kirstin Olsen

Unranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) pulled off some big upsets over the weekend to win the Cal Challenge at Alliant University in San Diego.

On the way to the title, the Monarchs beat No. 11 Marymount (Los Angeles) 25-17, 25-22 in the quarterfinals; La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) 25-21,25-22 in the semis and then avenged an earlier loss to No. 39 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.) 29-27, 32-30 in the final.

Sophomore outside hitter Frankie Shebby had an excellent weekend and earned MVP honors. Senior outside hitter Maddie Frome and senior middle blocker Annie Flynn were also named to the all-tournament team.

Mater Dei has a ton of talent and carries a roster of 22 players. Their passing was spot-on this weekend, and they were able to get their offense going to beat some great teams.

No. 14 Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) won the State Line Showdown at Blue Valley Northwest, rallying to beat Blue Springs (Blue Springs, Mo.) 29-31, 25-17, 26-24 in the final. The Stags, who improved to 35-3, boast senior right side Shelby Workman, who is a Kentucky commit. The Stags' three losses this year are all to No. 4 St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.).

No. 42 St. Joseph’s Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) will be traveling to Arizona this week to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions, where 54 teams from all over the nation are competing. St. Joseph's is led by junior setter Alyssa Jensen, a Cal commit, and Natalie Gower, a 6-foot-4 junior outside hitter who is considering Tennessee, TCU, Northeastern and Maryland.