Big 8 has MiraCosta's number, San Joaquin Delta advances in four

San Joaquin Delta 3, MiraCosta 1 
(CCCAA Women's Volleyball Championship) (quarterfinals)
Phioto by David Sanborn
San Joaquin Delta 3, MiraCosta 1 (CCCAA Women's Volleyball Championship) (quarterfinals) Phioto by David Sanborn

Tournament Central

FAIRFIELD, Calif. -  South No. 2 seed MiraCosta had won 19 straight matches and 23 in a row v. California Community Colleges going into its CCCAA State Women's Volleyball quarterfinal against North No. 3 San Joaquin Delta. The last loss was v. a Big 8 Conference champion Sierra on Sept. 8, and it would be Big 8 second-place Delta serving as bookend to closing the Spartans season in four sets, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18.

Delta (24-4) lost the Big 8 title to Sierra on the final day of the regular season, but since then the Mustangs won a pair of North Regionals over Gavilan and defending state champ Fresno City. On Saturday, the Mustangs returned to the state tourney for the first time in eight years and won their first state tourney match in 10 years. Delta is 24-31 in state tourney matches and has the most appearances of any North Region team at now 17.

AVCA First Team All-American Amilya Thompson led the way for Delta as she drilled 18 kills, served four aces and made 11 digs. Kylee Irwin-Paz, the granddaughter of former Delta coaching great Mary Ann Paz, added 12 kills and was a force at the net with eight blocks (two solos). In all Delta scored 13 team blocks to just three for MiraCosta.

"Our hats off to Delta. Their big hitter (Thompson) came to play and was extremely efficient on her swings," said MiraCosta head coach Kristen Wright, who directed the Mustangs to a 26-7 record. "They exploited our weaknesses. One of our strengths has been serve and pass and that's led to make our offense one of the best in the state. We just didn't do that well today. Delta got us out of sync. It was a great season for our players and i's just sad that it had to end."

Avery Martin made 16 digs for Delta. For MiraCosta, Reilly Bosworth scored 11 kills and Clair Kinder added 10 kills. All-American setter Hayley Huntsman dished out 40 assists with 14 digs while Claudia Mathews totaled eight kills. MiraCosta won the hitting war, 49-38, but 30 Spartans' errors canceled out that advantage. 

In the fourth set, Delta jumped out to a 14-9 lead, but MiraCosta sliced it to 16-15. Delta ran off the next five points and kills by Irwin-Paz and Thompson ultimately finished off the Mustangs' victory. Delta will now face Cabrillo in one of the state semifinals at 5 p.m.

MiraCosta was making its first major state tourney appearance, but last officially played at a state tourney when it won two "Small Schools Division" state titles in 1980-1981. The Small Schools Division lasted from 1977-1982 before becoming a stand alone, all colleges state tourney in 1983.