By Kirstin Olsen
After climbing as high as No. 10 in Week 2 of the FAB 50 national rankings, Dos Pueblos (Goleta, Calif.) entered the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions unranked. But this past weekend, the Chargers proved themselves FAB 50-worthy after besting six FAB 50 teams at the prestigious TOC. Senior opposite Taylor Racich was named MVP after a 27-25, 25-23, 25-27, 20-25, 15-13 win over No. 35 Marymount (Los Angeles) in the final. The lefty led her team with 32 kills in the final, many dished out by her twin sister senior setter Tristan Racich. The win marked the Chargers' first SB TOC title.
No. 11 Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) had a great showing earlier this season at the Durango Classic with an impressive fifth-place finish. The Gators posted three-set wins over Clovis West (Clovis, Calif.) and Kamehameha (Honolulu, Hawaii). The Gators have a plethora of talent, including Kansas bound setter/opposite Abby Hornacek. They could have the opportunity to avenge one of their two losses of the year (the other to Marymount) against Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.) at the AIA State Championships this week.
With a 35-3 record, No. 12 Benet (Lisle, Ill.) looks like the team in Illinois. The Redwings beat West Aurora (Aurora, Ill.) 25-22, 25-18 in a regional matchup last week. Senior middle blocker and Wisconsin commit Meghan Haggerty has been a force in the middle for the Redwings, and senior opposite/setter and Virginia Tech commit Jenna Jendryk has starred as well. The Redwings are the top seed in their section as they start sectional play this week. Keep an eye out. Illinios, Texas and California playoffs always offer some surprises when teams catch fire at the end of the season.
No. 40 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a good showing at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, taking third place with a 26-24, 25-20, 25-22 win over Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Calif.). The Sea Kings' only loss of the weekend was to Marymount in the semifinals. Senior middle blocker Britton Taylor and freshman middle blocker Hayley Hodson had nine kills apiece.