The Metro Conference’s annual all-star girls and boys volleyball games took place Monday at Otay Ranch High School amid a high point for the sport locally after the Otay Ranch Mustangs made history by capturing the San Diego Section Division I boys championship title just two days earlier.
Though the girls volleyball season is in the fall, both senior all-star games are held in the spring.
The Mesa League captured both contests over the South Bay League, winning 3-1 in the preliminary girls match-up and recording a 3-0 sweep in the boys finale.
Eastlake outside hitter Malia Valdivieso earned recognition as the Most Valuable Player of the girls match, won 25-9, 25-15, 19-25, 25-14 by the Mesa League.
“I felt honored being picked out of all the players in the Mesa League to play in this game,” said Valdivieso, a three-year varsity performer who helped lead the Titans to a league co-championship with Bonita Vista this past season.
Valdivieso plans to attend Whittier College in the fall on a partial volleyball and academic scholarship. Her goal is to major in liberal arts and one day become an educator. She said high school athletics have taught her discipline and focus.
“If you work hard enough, you can follow your dreams,” she said, “If you keep trying, good things will happen. Sports teaches you to fight to the end.”
The Titan spiker clearly appreciated the all-star recognition. “It was nice,” she said. “It was weird not seeing the other players from the Mesa League on the other side of the net.”
Because the Mustangs are still involved in the state playoffs, none of Otay Ranch’s seniors could play in Monday’s boys game. Still, the Mesa League swept its three matches, defeating the South Bay League 27-25, 25-18, 25-17 in a highly competitive pairing.
Eastlake’s Scott Willes, who is headed to BYU’s Idaho campus in Rexburg, was named MVP of the boys game.
“It was an honor being in it,” said Willes, a six-foot-four outside hitter. “We want to thank the coaches for putting this on.”
Willes, who racked up more than 500 kills this season, said it was unfortunate Otay Ranch’s CIF champions could not play in the game, but at the same time it proved the talent level is strong throughout not only the Mesa League but the entire Metro Conference as well.
“There are so many skilled players, it really shows you how strong the other teams are,” he said.
South Bay League: Cat Wright (Olympian), Alexis Webb (Mar Vista), Arianna Trammel (Mar Vista), Darien Beltran (Castle Park), Victoria Ruth (Castle Park), Jessica Mendoza (Castle Park0, Chunyi Wu (Sweetwater), Zayly Sanchez (Sweetwater), Desiree Morales (Sweetwater), Barbara Rios (Sweetwater)
Mesa League: Maila Valdivieso (Eastlake), Cindy Fifield (Eastlake), Mandy Sohacki (Eastlake), Cari Hudson (Bonita Vista), Rachel Lopez (Bonita Vista, Kristen Del los Reyes (Otay Ranch). Kamene Rose (Hilltop), Miranda Turner (Hilltop), Elizabeth Gonzalez (Mater Dei Catholic), Karli Bull (Chula Vista)
South Bay League: Deandre Cretain (Mar Vista), Jeremy Echeverria (Mar Vista), Trevor Barr (Mar Vista), Max Uribe (Mar Vista), Luis Alvarez (Mar Vista), Troy Jackson (Olympian), Joe Razo (Olympian), Josh Martinez (Olympian), Keegan Roberts (Sweetwater), Gary Ingraham (Sweetwater), David Vega Beltran (Sweetwater), Lamar Weston (Southwest)
Mesa League: Daniel Travers (Hilltop), Keaton Berry (Hilltop), Juan Walls (Hilltop), Andrew Aguilar (Bonita Vista), David Garza (Bonita Vista), Greg McGee (Bonita Vista), Scott Willes (Eastlake), Jar Garcia (Eastlake), Rae Crawford (Eastlake), Nick Pandaan (Eastlake), Jose Martinez (Mater Dei Catholic), Luis Ayala (Mater Dei Catholic), Mario Martinez (Chula Vista), Dennis Scott (Chula Vista)