This fall, JSerra sports teams earned significant notoriety, awards, and other impressive achievements. Competing in the Trinity League has brought our teams to a level of excellence that has made JSerra a force to reckon with.
The 2009 girls’ golf program had 11 girls come together to form the best team we have had to date. Our scores continued to improve and we were even able to shoot a school record 197 at our home course Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. Led by seniors Michelle Chang (2nd team all league 2008 and honorable mention 2009), Libby Griffin, Meghan Celentano, and freshman Maddy Smith (1st team all league 2009) Lady Lions golf was able to come together as a team and pick up some wins along the way. This season, Maddy took 3rd place in the Trinity League finals to earn a spot at the first round of the CIF tournament. In only her 3rd 18-hole round of golf, Maddy shot an 81 to go with her 40 at El Prado golf course and a 38 at Mile Square golf club. Her total score of 159 put her in 3rd place. Maddy is the first golfer from JSerra to advance to CIF. Her accomplishments earned her Orange County Register golf athlete of the week. We are looking forward to a successful 2010 as we continue to grow.
JSerra’s boys’ and girls’ Running Lions cross country teams capped their best season on record. We are now the top private school in South Orange County in cross country. Not only are we competitive in the private school ranks, but our squads are now competitive with the bigger Division I schools of Orange County. The season’s obvious highlight was the girls’ second place finish at the State meet, but there were a number of other great moments too. They had Trinity League victories over Mater Dei, dominated over Santa Margarita Catholic High School, and the girls won against Rosary. Both squads advanced to CIF Finals for the second year in a row. Boys finished ninth while girls finished second. The girls also received 2nd place at the Orange County Championships. The boys JV won second-place at the JV national championships. There were many outstanding athletes during the season including; Luke Decker, All-Trinity League, Winner at Laguna Hills Invitational; Katie DeYoung, All-CIF, All-Trinity League, 14th at State, one of the 50 fastest seniors in all of California; Caitlin Nilssen, All-Trinity, All-County, one of 50 fastest freshmen in California; and Colby Lindholm, Winner at Mt. SAC Invitational, the world’s largest cross-country meet. JSerra cross-country alumni currently compete at the Division I level for Texas A&M and the University of Santa Clara, and our runners continue to be heavily recruited by America’s top universities. Both squads set school records in team time (cumulative time of the five top runners), lopping more than four minutes each from the previous marks. The team also achieved the top two finishes by lower level teams at Trinity League Championships: Second place, F/S boys; Second place, F/S girls; Second place, JV Boys. Overall it was a spectacular season.
The football team kicked off this season impressively with a 5-0 record in the preseason and a victory over our archrival Santa Margarita. JSerra football took the step forward it has been looking to take, making great defensive and offensive plays during the Santa Margarita game. It was the program’s first victory over a Trinity League team. JSerra scored in the first quarter on a 12-yard drive on Bobby Brown’s 12-yard run, after Joey Kimper blocked a punt, scoring again midway through the fourth quarter, the finish being Brown’s three-yard fastball to Otto Behrle with 6:11 left. Luis Valentin’s kick made the score 14-6, which meant Santa Margarita was in an unnerving position of having to score with little time left. This game resulted in a challenging but well-deserved 14-12 Trinity League Victory over Santa Margarita.
The 2009 Lady Lions tennis team met some milestones not previously attained. Varsity set the tone fo the season by winning their first ever Trinity League match, with an 11-7 victory over Rosary at their home courts. The Lions defeated Connelly, both dual matches as well, giving them a 3-7 league record and a share of 4th place. The team lost close matches to league co-champs, Santa Margarita, 8-10 both times. It also lost a very spirited tie match to Mater Dei, 9-9 – decided in total games won 62 games to 61. Very bright spots for the girls included a semi-finalist finisher and MVP, Leslie Chang, who placed 3rd in this highly competitive league. Freshman Cara Cummings won quite a few matches against more experienced #3 singles players throughout the league as did junior Allison Heinrich at the #2 singles spot. Both JV and Frosh/Soph had improved records over the 2008 season. It was fun winning more and being “in the contest longer” than 2008. JV was led by transfer Allie Poore, who started league off by defeating the #1 and # 2 players from SMCHS. JV moved up a notch in league standings, with a win over Rosary. Sophomore Robin Asseo led our talented Frosh/Soph team as its MVP, playing in the number 1 singles spot. Notable changes regarding the team in whole: our numbers are growing; going from 18 players to 42 over two seasons, and quality is increasing as well. The 2010 team is expected to grow both in numbers and quality too.
The boys’ water polo team also finished with an outstanding season, coming up just short against Trinity League rival Mater Dei. In the game against Servite, the Lions (18-9) advanced to their first CIF championship with a victory over the Friars at the Woollett Aquatics Center. Commanding 6-4 at the half, JSerra held Servite scoreless in the third quarter. Nick Santala guided the third quarter scoring from the start to the end, scoring on the first and last possessions, leaving JSerra with a 10-4 lead while heading into the fourth. The win against Servite granted our lions the opportunity to play against Mater Dei for the CIF championship. JSerra coach Petar Asic was thrilled with his team’s effort and feels regardless of the outcome, the season had been a success. Asic was quoted by OCVarsity to have said, “Mater Dei is an awesome team. It is going to take teamwork, but we will do our best to give them a game.” They fell 12-8 at William Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine against Mater Dei, however, finishing 2nd in the CIF championship is a tremendous achievement.
The Girls Volleyball team is comprised of three teams; Freshmen/Sophomore, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. The Varsity team has 14 girls and started the season off well with wins against Fairmont Prep and Sage Hill. Frosh/Soph and JV teams, both with 13 players each, gained victories over Sage Hill as well. The team strives for excellence in academics, athletics and spiritual development. They also believe that the development of individual and team skills, the exertion of best effort, the will to win, and sportsmanlike conduct brings credit to JSerra and is a source of pride and enthusiasm for all members of the JSerra community as the team grows and continues to improve.
JSerra is proud of all of our 2009 Fall athletes and we look forward to exceptional winter and spring athletic seasons as well.