The Menlo-Atherton girls' volleyball team won its second consecutive Northern California Division I championship Saturday with a 3-1 win over visiting Oak Ridge.
Now the Bears would like to depart from last year’s script. It’s nice to make a trip to the state finals and all, but it would be much more fun to come home from the trip as state champions.
Menlo-Atherton will play Edison of Huntington Beach on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Santiago Canyon College for the Division I state championship. Edison, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 1 Huntington Beach 3-0.
“We’re stoked, we can’t wait to get back to state and have another chance,’’ M-A coach Fletcher Anderson said.
The Bears lost to Redondo Union in last year’s state final.
“We set a goal at the start of the year to get back to state,’’ Anderson said. “They believe they can do it and are excited to have a chance.’’
M-A dominated most of the match against Oak Ridge, winning the first set 25-19 and the second set 25-16.
Oak Ridge battled back to take the third set 25-21, but the fourth set was all Menlo-Atherton as the Bears built leads of 5-1, 12-4 and 20-7 before finishing it at 25-16.
“It feels great,’’ senior Jacqueline DiSanto said of getting a chance to go back to the state finals. “Last year we were all disappointed. This year I think we have a real good chance. With the Open Division, our division should be a little easier."
Edison has played Notre Dame-Belmont and St. Ignatius in tournaments, beating both of them, 2-1. The Bears have a win over the Tigers and have lost to both in five sets.
Last year’s experience added to this year’s motivation.
“Definitely,’’ DiSanto said. “Especially this being my senior year. I want to win and go out on a good note.’’
DiSanto led Menlo-Atherton (30-5) against Oak Ridge with 15 kills and 14 digs. Eliza Grover made a big impact with 14 kills and eight digs.
“She was on fire,’’ Anderson said. “She was jumping high, hitting hard, hitting over their blocks. She’s finding her groove and stepping up.’’
Senior setter Kirby Knapp had 41 assists and seven digs.
Grover is eagerly anticipating the trip to Southern California.
“I will be extremely motivated,’’ she said. “It’s so awesome to get another chance.’’