By Dave Abbott
The Eagle Rock High Girls Volleyball team made history in November, becoming the school’s first team ever to win the city championship in the Open Division, the top level of competition.
Known officially as the CIF Los Angeles City Section Girls Volleyball Open Division Championship, the championship was sealed on November 9 with a 3-1 victory by the Eagles over 30-time champion Palisades Charter. The scores were 25-21, 15-25, 26-24, 26-22.
To get to the Championship round, the Eagles defeated El Camino Real 3-0 in the quarterfinals on October 30. They then defeated Granada Hills Charter in the semifinals in a 3-2 come-from-behind thriller on November 5.
“It feels like a complete dream,” said Jade Fuentes, a senior who is the Eagles team captain and outside hitter, in a post-match interview. “With all the preparation we’ve been doing ever since we joined this program, this year it finally seemed like we could do it…that we could win.”
Nine of the 12 girls on the varsity team have been playing together since freshman year.
“They’ve wanted this since 9th grade,” said Julie Wilkins, Jade Fuentes’ mother. “It’s very emotional to see them finally achieve it together, the same nine girls.”
“I feel so relieved right now,” said Julia Orqueza, a senior who is the team’s libero, that is, a player who specializes in defensive skills. “My whole team worked so hard and this moment is going to be unforgettable.”
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