Eastlake spikers aiming for perfect league season


This year's Eastlake High School girls volleyball team ranks highly among those coached by Erwin Macalaguim in the past 13 years. Photo by Phillip Brents

The Eastlake High School girls volleyball team will host its annual senior night ceremony on Friday, Oct. 25, starting at 4 p.m. in the campus gymnasium. The game marks the final regular season contest prior to the start of the San Diego Section playoffs.

Eastlake (11-0 in Mesa League play, 33-7 overall) will host Mar Vista (4-7 in league, 8-13 overall).

Besides honoring its senior players, Eastlake will also be out to record an undefeated league campaign.

The Titans clinched the league title last week.

Mater Dei Catholic is 7-3 in league, 25-7 overall, while Otay Ranch is 6-5 in league, 20-16 overall.

EHS head coach Erwin Macalaguim said the 2019 edition of the school’s girls volleyball team ranks among the top three in his 13 years as head coach.

He listed the two other top teams in his coaching history at the school as those in 2012 and 2016.

The 2012 team finished 27-10 while the 2016 team finished 23-9 with a berth in the state playoffs.

“This year’s team can’t wait to get on the court,” Macalaguim said. “They fight. It doesn’t matter who they are playing. This team has no quit. They want to play the best teams in the county. They’re hungry for the competition.”

The Titans devoured the host Barons (3-8 in league, 13-15 overall) on Wednesday by scores of 25-10, 25-14, 25-16.

The Titans have recorded three-game sweeps in nine of their 11 league matches so far this season.

Prior to Wednesday’s league game, Eastlake participated in the SoCal Invitational, Oct. 11-12, carving out a 5-2 record. The Titans won their opening two games against Dos Pueblos and Jasper Place (Edmonton, Alberta), dropped their next two contests to Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) and Torrey Pines, then finished up the event with wins over Upland, La Jolla and Pasadena La Salle.

Eastlake opened the season with a commanding 8-2 record at the Labor Day Classic in Hilo, Hawaii.

The Titans will end the season in the state playoffs, as Open Division teams now receive seeds into the divisional field.

Eastlake enters Friday’s game ranked fourth among section Division I teams, thereby making the top eight cut for the Open Division playoffs.

Torrey Pines (32-2) is ranked first, followed by Cathedral Catholic (28-4), La Costa Canyon (26-13) and Eastlake.

Bishop’s (25-9) is ranked fifth, followed by La Jolla (24-8), La Jolla Country Day (22-6) and Del Norte (22-11).

It’s an elite group.

The Open Division quarterfinals are scheduled Nov. 2, followed by the semifinals on Nov. 6 and the championship game on Nov. 9 at Cathedral Catholic High School.

The higher-seeded school will host quarterfinal- and semifinal-round matches.

The Division I playoffs are scheduled to start Oct. 30, followed by quarterfinals on Nov. 2 and semifinals on Nov. 6. The championship game is scheduled Nov. 9 at Cathedral Catholic.

Otay Ranch (20-16) and Olympian (12-15) are guaranteed berths in the Division I playoff field, though both will likely be seeded toward the bottom of the bracket.

The Division III playoffs are scheduled to start Oct. 30, followed by quarterfinals on Nov. 2 and semifinals on Nov. 6. The championship game is scheduled Nov. 9 at Cathedral Catholic.

Seven South County teams are vying for playoff berths: Mater Dei Catholic (29-8), Bonita Vista (13-15), Ocean View Christian Academy (13-4), Chula Vista Learning Community Charter (13-5), Mar Vista (9-13), Montgomery (18-17) and Hilltop (8-20).

Sixteen of the 21 teams in the division qualify for postseason play. Mater Dei Catholic is ranked first, Bonita Vista is ranked seventh, Ocean View Christian is ranked 10th, CVLCC is ranked 11th, Mar Vista is ranked 12th, Montgomery is ranked 13th and Hilltop is ranked 20th.

The Division IV playoffs are scheduled to start Oct. 29, followed by quarterfinals on Nov. 1 and semifinals on Nov. 5. The championship game is Nov. 8 at Canyon Crest Academy.

Six area teams are contending for playoff berths in the 24-team field: High Tech High Chula Vista (13-12), Sweetwater (20-11), Southwest (12-14), San Diego Academy (6-10), San Ysidro (11-11) and Castle Park (6-25).

HTH Chula Vista is ranked third, Sweetwater is ranked seventh, Southwest is ranked 11th, San Diego Academy is ranked 16th, San Ysidro is ranked 19th and Castle Park is ranked 24th.

Sweetwater and Southwest are tied for the South Bay League lead with 7-2 records while San Yisdro is one game back at 6-3.

Sweetwater hosts San Ysidro on Friday, Oct. 25, at 4:30 p.m. while Southwest hosts Castle Park at 5 p.m. to determine the league champion or co-champions.

The Division V playoffs are scheduled to start Oct. 29, followed by quarterfinals on Nov. 1 and semifinals on Nov. 5. The championship game is scheduled Nov. 8 at Canyon Crest Academy.

Thirty-three schools are in the division, including Bayfront Charter (13-10), Victory Christian Academy (9-8) and Chula Vista (2-29).

Bayfront Charter is ranked fourth in the division while Victory Christian is ranked 18th and Chula Vista is ranked 25th.

The Eastlake High School girls field hockey team is closing in on this year’s Metro Conference championship title. Photo by Phillip Brents

Eastlake keeps winning, makes headway toward girls field hockey title

The Metro Conference girls field hockey season has taken a few twists and turns over the past few weeks.

The list of championship contenders was whittled down to two teams — Eastlake and Bonita Vista — following Monday’s slate of games.

The league leaders met on Wednesday for sole possession of first place, with Eastlake carving out a 1-0 win to take a giant step toward earning this year’s championship banner.

It’s definitely been an interesting journey this season.

Hilltop handed Otay Ranch its first league loss on Oct. 11 on the strength of a 3-0 victory.

Eastlake handed Hilltop its second league loss on Monday with a tight 1-0 win after successfully avenging its only league loss in the first round of league play – 2-1 in double overtime to Otay Ranch on Oct. 7 – with a decisive 5-0 victory on Oct. 16.

Eastlake improved to 9-1 in league play, 13-7-2 overall, following Wednesday’s win over Bonita Vista (6-2 in league, 10-6 overall).

Bonita Vista edged Olympian, 1-0, on Monday to set up Wednesday’s duel for first place.

Arianna-Grace Morales scored the lone goal for Eastlake in Monday’s second-round match-up against Hilltop in the final minute of the first half.

Hilltop had a chance to tie the game in the 20th minute of second half play on a penalty stroke by Julie Sanchez but Eastlake goaltender Fallon Campbell made a kick save to stop the shot.

EHS coach Ashley Daily called Monday’s game “big” in her team’s championship quest.

“If we had lost this game, it would have counted us out,” Daily said. “The playing field has definitely leveled out.”

Tatum Sherard scored the game-winner for Eastlake in Wednesday’s game.

It’s been a sudden turn of events for several schools.

Hilltop had gone undefeated in league play since a 1-0 loss at Eastlake on Sept. 17, defeating both Bonita Vista (1-0 on Oct. 9) and Otay Ranch (3-0 on Oct. 11) to draw four teams into a first place tie.

Otay Ranch improved to 5-3 in league, 8-8 overall, following Tuesday’s 1-0 win over visiting Hilltop (6-3 in league, 8-9-1 overall).

League play concludes Nov. 1 with Hilltop at Bonita Vista. Eastlake needs one more win to secure the league title.

Both Eastlake and Hilltop are heading toward the Division I playoffs while Bonita Vista and Otay Ranch are battling for berths in the Division II field.

“We want to be competitive in CIF,” Daily said. “This is our first time being in the Division I playoffs.”