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Mia Compas ‘23

Girls Varsity Beach Volleyball after beating Torrey Pines to win the championship!

Other than the amazing academics and community that Cathedral provides for students, Cathedral also has many student athletes that are involved in top tier athletic programs provided by the school. Don’t believe me? Go take a look at the walls in Claver Center gym.

Going into high school everyone looks forward to being a part of the student section at football games; all the lights, music. Other than our successful football team and the long list of amazing teams we have representing Cathedral, there are three amazing teams, under the same program, that have gone, in Drake’s words, ‘Back to Back’: Girls Indoor Varsity Volleyball, Girls Varsity Beach Volleyball, and Boys Indoor Varsity Volleyball.

In the Fall, the girls indoor volleyball team dominated all their competition. Winning notable tournaments like the Durango Fall Classic and the Geico National tournament, along with an CIF Open Division State Title. Finishing #1 in the nation, the girls also won the CIF SD Open Division Title, just like they did in the fall of 2021.

This spring the girls beach volleyball team followed suit, winning back to back CIF SD Open Division Titles. Ayva Moi ‘24, who is on BOTH the indoor and beach varsity team shared her reactions to winning back to back CIF titles on the beach, “It was such an exciting experience! To know how hard each and every person worked and to see it all pay off was so cool! I remember when the third game was won, meaning we had won the entire thing, we all screamed and celebrated. Then we all ran to watch the final points of the very last game together. We were cheering so loud at every point, and our teammates ended up winning that game as well, making it that much better. We all rushed the court, and it was such a special moment.” Moi says one main difference between the two teams was their bond, “I feel that one big difference then last season was how much closer we were this year. There was definitely a stronger connection amongst the team this season, compared to last. Our team chemistry improved our communication, motivation, and just made the environment super fun to play in! Also, having won last year’s CIF final against Torrey Pines, made this one extra special. We knew they were going to try their best to keep us from winning for the 2nd year in a row, so coming out on top was great! It was also different being an upperclassman this year, compared to being a sophomore last year. Being on the older side of the team, this win meant a little more.”

Going into next season, Ayva Moi could be a part of a special group who could possibly 3-peat in CIF titles. She says, “I’m really excited to take on these next seasons as a senior. It is such a great program and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to play for Cathedral and represent the Lady Dons. There is definitely a lot of pressure to fill the shoes of the players that have taken this program to those CIF wins. And our success last year definitely put a target on our back for this upcoming season. But I can’t wait to compete and know our team is ready to work to get another CIF Title!”

Spring was a big season for the boys indoor volleyball team as well. After beating Westview High School in the CIF Finals for 2022, the team did it again by sweeping Scripps Ranch High School, the number one seed, in the finals just a few weeks ago. Head Coach, Pat Boner, shares his thoughts on this season, highlighting their CIF final win, “I am beyond thrilled for this group of guys. They cemented their place as one of the great teams to come through Cathedral Catholic. We are the first group to go back to back in the boys Open Division, so that’s a significant accomplishment. I feel the boys represented the school really well. We are blessed to have talented guys that are eager to improve.” He also says, “One thing we made a point to never do this year, and that was to compare this year to last year. Both teams were unique and deserve to have their own place as champions. This year we trained a lot harder in practice. We had multiple first year starters, and guys playing multiple positions. Practices this year were more technical than last year. We had some catching up too, and the guys did an amazing job staying focused.”

Senior, Charlie Leford, was a starter on both championship teams. He says, “It was very surreal winning back to back CIF titles. The program has definitely been established as the best in San Diego, and I am grateful to be a part of both championship teams.” Ledford added: “Last year felt very easy to be honest. We were always a step ahead of the competition in San Diego because of the talent we had. This year felt much more rewarding because we worked very hard everyday at practice and improved immensely throughout the season.” Ledford’s normal position is libero, which is the position he got recruited for and plays on his club team. Last season he had to be a setter for a little bit when senior setter Cameron Wurl ‘22 got hurt, but returned to libero and won a CIF title. This past season Ledford had to take on a new role playing outside hitter and being one of only three seniors on the team. He says, “It is very fun and challenging playing a different position in comparison to club volleyball. It definitely makes me a better overall player and gives me a new perspective on the game.”

There are no state playoffs for beach volleyball, so the girls finished their season on their championship win. The boys ended their amazing season in a semi-final loss against Newport Harbor High School.

Head over to the Claver Center and the Schnell Family sand courts this upcoming fall and spring to see if these teams can 3-peat their titles!