Thirty-two teams gathered to compete in last weekend’s third annual Sweetwater Prime Sports Invitational at Sweetwater High School to help usher in the 2015 girls volleyball season.
Champions were crowned in four divisions: gold, silver, bronze and copper. Metro Conference teams earned three championships, plus two runner-up nods, in the event.
Olympian, last year’s San Diego Section Division III champions, defeated Otay Ranch, last year’s Division II runner-up, to win the Gold Division championship, while Montgomery defeated Valley Center to win the Bronze Division championship and Mar Vista defeated San Ysidro to win the Bronze Division championship.
This year’s tournament even featured a team from Alaska.
“Every year this tournament has grown,” explained Sweetwater head coach Erick Hernandez, who served as tournament director. “The competition continues to get better and so many games are exciting to see. It was great seeing three Metro teams win championships.”
Olympian, which improved to 7-0 on the season, capped tournament play with a 6-0 record. The Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Mustangs, 2-1, in the best-of-three championship match.
Lauren Appleman, Alex High- tower and Johanna Langarcia led Olympian with nine kills each in the final. Ivana Jaime had four serving aces while Hightower had 19 digs and Laurie Orbita contributed 28 assists.
Grecia Cordero led Otay Ranch (6-1 overall) with nine kills in the final while teammates Karen Cordero and Ryann Mojica each had five kills. Karen Cordero had seven aces and 14 digs to lead the Lady Mustangs while Shannon Casey contributed a team-high 10 assists.
Olympian defeated San Marcos, 2-1, in the semifinals while Otay Ranch defeated Mission Bay, also by a 2-1 score.
Helix defeated Classical Academy to win the Silver Division championship.
Olympian swept Morse, Mar Vista and Central Union all by 2-0 scores in pool play. The Lady Eagles dispatched San Pasqual, 2-1, in the quarterfinals before meeting San Marcos in the semifinals.
Otay Ranch finished 5-1 in the tournament. The Lady Mustangs swept past pool-round opponents Orange Glen, San Ysidro and Classical Academy each by 2-0 scores and opened the playoff with a 2-0 win over Clairemont.
Hightower has recorded 57 kills in 17 sets to lead Olympian in hitting. She also has posted a team-leading 18 aces and 65 digs. Orbita leads the team with 106 digs in 15 sets.
Grecia Cordero leads Otay Ranch on the season in kills (54), aces (24) and digs (75).
Montgomery, which previously finished 4-4 at the Las Vegas Invitational Aug. 28-29, won its three playoff match-ups.
Mar Vista swept Julian (quarterfinals), High Tech High Chula Vista (semifinals) and San Ysidro (final) each by 2-0 scores in its three playoff matches.
Sweetwater Prime Sports Invitational
Sept. 4-5 at Sweetwater High School
Pool 1: 1. Mission Bay; 2. Ketchikan (Alaska); 3. Sweetwater; 4. CVLCC
Pool 2: 1. Mater Dei Catholic; 2. St. Joseph’s; 3. Valley Center; 4. Warner
Pool 3: 1. Clairemont; 2. Southwest El Centro; 3. Chula Vista; 4. San Pasqual Academy
Pool 4: 1. Otay Ranch; 2. Classical Academy; 3. Orange Glen; 4. San Ysidro
Pool 5: 1. Guajome Park; 2. San Diego; 3. Montgomery; 4. High Tech High Chula Vista
Pool 6: 1. San Marcos; 2. Helix; 3. Castle Park; 4. Kearny
Pool 7: 1. San Pasqual; 2. High Tech High San Diego; 3. Hilltop; 4. Julian
Pool 8: 1. Olympian; 2. Morse; 3. Central Union; 4. Mar Vista
Gold: Olympian def. Otay Ranch
Silver: Helix def. Classical Academy
Bronze: Montgomery def. Valley Center
Copper: Mar Vista def. San Ysidro