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    Freshman Westley Matavao helps lift Orange Lutheran girls volleyball past Edison in CIF-SS quarterfinals
    • October 26, 2023

    ORANGE — The plan of attack for Orange Lutheran’s girls volleyball team in its CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinal match against Edison on Wednesday was to give its freshman outside hitter, Westley Matavao, as many swings as possible.

    The 6-foot Matavao made the most of her opportunities, finishing with 26 kills to lead the Lancers to a 25-10, 21-25, 25-17, 25-16 victory at Orange Lutheran High School.

    Orange Lutheran (25-13), which is the No. 4 seed in the division, will take on No. 1 seed Redondo in the semifinals Saturday at Redondo High School. Redondo defeated Oaks Christian in four sets in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

    Players on the Orange Lutheran volleyball team begin to celebrate after a four-set victory over Edison in the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals on Wednesday, Oct. 25. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    The Lancers are back in the semifinals for the first time since 2017, when they won the Division 2 title in four sets over Santiago of Corona.

    Orange Lutheran served 16 aces and was the more dominant team at the net, with seven blocks.

    “Edison’s always a powerhouse in volleyball,” Orange Lutheran coach Henry Valiente said. “So we knew we had to take it to them, to serve tough to keep them at bay. But that’s a great program that we played and I’m so happy that it was a good match for both of us.”

    Matavao had seven kills in the first and third sets and eight kills in the fourth set, with nearly every kill coming from the left side of the net.

    Lancers setter Marley Robinson, who is also a freshman, had 31 assists as she fulfilled her role in the game plan by getting the ball to Matavao.

    “There are so many people always stacked on me, but with my team behind me, I know I can get through,” said Matavao. “I know I can do it. This team is so supportive and energetic. We were a unit tonight. We played amazing together and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team.”

    Orange Lutheran players, from left, Marley Robinson, Westley Matavao, Jaedyn Houston and Maylynn Mitchell, each made big contributions in the win over Edison in the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals Wednesday, Oct. 25. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    In the first set, Maylynn Mitchell served three consecutive aces and Jaedyn Houston and Kenzie Houston each served an ace to help the Lancers build an 11-3 lead.

    Matavao had back-to-back aces and scored three of the Lancers’ final four points on kills.

    The score was tied eight times in the second set and the lead changed hands three times until the Chargers (17-13) pulled away on three kills and a block from Molly McCluskey, who led the team with 15 kills and four blocks.

    The Chargers led through the first half of the third set and had an 11-10 lead until consecutive kills from Mitchell gave the Lancers their first lead, which they never relinquished.

    Orange Lutheran led through most of the fourth set and took an 18-9 lead on three consecutive kills from Matavao.

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    ​ Orange County Register