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Volleyball team ends on high note

The Claremont High School girls varsity volleyball team won their final match of the season, 3-0, against visiting Diamond Bar in front of a large home crowd Tuesday.

Diamond Bar never really posed much of a threat as the Pack went 25-18, 25-22 and 25-10, in a match that cemented their third-place finish in the Palomares League.

It was also senior night for both teams and Claremont recognized Roi Wallace, Georgie Jackson, Kristen Kiltgaard, Jennifer Frias, Sydney Lawler and Emily Bird in a pregame ceremony where they were presented with flowers and posed for photos with their families.

The senior players spontaneously decided to honor their number-one fan, Jim Timpane, asking that he join them for a photo under a balloon arch stretched across center court. Mr. Timpane has attended nearly every game for the past 21 seasons, beginning in 1995 when his daughter was a freshman on the Claremont team.

In an effort to give his seniors, including those who don’t normally start, maximum court time, coach Mark Mina had his team in a constant rotation throughout the night. Every handful of plays he was substituting one or even two players.

“Since it was senior night we wanted to honor them.  We happen to have six [seniors] and I played all six,” he explained. In volleyball, the players move from one position to the next as the game progresses. However, since some of the seniors don’t play well in all positions, Coach Mina substituted them to avoid creating a weakness. “We wanted them to play, but we didn’t want to lose,” he said.

The girls started the first set with a comfortable lead going ahead 13-5 but were a bit too jovial on the court which caused them to lose focus, and Diamond Bar came back with a flurry of scoring. The Brahmas nearly tied the game at 14-13 when Wallace’s strong serve put Claremont well ahead, and this time they didn’t look back. A big block from Wallace was all they needed to put the first game in the books.

The second set saw the best competition of the night with Diamond Bar matching Claremont point for point until Claremont pulled ahead by seven points and was on the verge of victory when the Brahmas came roaring back. Starting at 24-17, Diamond Bar won the next five points until Bird got a kill to put the set away.

The final set was all Claremont, with some great plays from sophomores Kylie Robinson and Emilee Rohrer. However, it was apropos that senior Frias got the last point of the night with a kill up the middle.

Despite limited court time, junior Simone Bliss had a game-high of 12 kills from 24 attempts; Frias came in just behind with eight kills. Wallace also had a solid night with 22 assists, while Jackson came up with 10 digs.

“We have been playing good volleyball our last few matches,” said Coach Mina. “I love Claremont—the girls are great. My goal is to be here next year to be the first multiple-year coach Claremont has had in a while.”

With the victory, the girls are 6-4 in league and 15-11 overall. Their first match in the CIF tournament has not been announced yet.

 

CROSS COUNTRY

Claremont High School cross country swept the Palomares League finals on Thursday at Bonelli Regional Park, making them undefeated for the season. All five teams—boys frosh soph, girls and boys junior varsity, and girls and boys varsity—never lost a meet this year. As a result, the girls varsity team is now ranked third and the boys team is seventh in the Southern Section Division Two.

“It was a great season. We are looking forward to post-season,” said Coach Bill Reeves.

From here the teams will compete in the CIF prelims on the 14th in Riverside and then in the finals at Mt SAC. If they perform well in the finals, the team will advance to the state meet on the 28th in Fresno.

BOYS WATER POLO

Claremont boys water polo cemented their second straight Palomares League title on Tuesday with a 16-3 victory over Glendora.

Coach Kristin Rodriguez made good use of her entire team during the match, with eight players scoring at least one goal. Top performances include: Johnathon Wong, five goals, one assist; Bruno Snow, three goals, nine steals, four assists; Lenning Davis, two goals, four assists; Ian Waasdorp, two goals, one assist; Dylan Clinton one goal, one assist, one steal; Mat Turk, one goal, one steal; Jack Kruze, one goal, two steals; Tyler Allen, one goal; Josh Uchizono, one goal; Will DePreze, two steals, one assist; and Ivan Lamboo, two steals. In the net, Kallan Grant had nine saves, two steals and one assist.

On Friday they will play Cerritos in a non-conference game that Coach Rodriguez hopes will sharpen their skills for the CIF tournament.

With the victory, Claremont is now 8-0 in league and 18-7 overall and ranked seventh in Division Five of the Southern Section.

GIRLS TENNIS

The girls varsity tennis Palomares League tournament took place last week at the Claremont Club. The team’s number-one singles player, Elizabeth Wu upset the number-four seed from Ayala to advance to the singles semi-finals. The number-one doubles team, Lelia Kennedy and Dorothy Kang, upset the number-four seeds from Glendora to advance to the doubles semi-finals also.

FOOTBALL

Glendora was just too much for Claremont to handle Friday night as the Tartans clinched the Palomares League title. Glendora outscored Claremont from the very beginning and also shut down the Pack’s running game on their way to the 35-14 victory.

Quarterback Raine Pohaku Kaheaku-Paiva had 82 yards rushing, 52 yards passing, including one completion to Laquamie Bond for a touchdown. Duy Tran-Sampson only had 68 yards rushing, but did score the Pack’s other touchdown.

On Friday, the Pack faces South Hills at home for their last league game. Claremont’s record is now 2-2 in league and 7-2 overall, which guarantees them a spot in the CIF tournament.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com