Our Lady Lions had a 2014 volleyball season for the books! Their teamwork and determination landed them a win against Orange Lutheran and a spot in the Round 1 CIF game against Long Beach Poly. The girls went home with their first ever Round 1 CIF win, and the anticipation for Round 2 against Great Oaks was building for the team and fans. Unfortunately, their season ended there, but they made history for our school and JSerra could not be more proud!
Congratulations again to all of our seniors on a great last season, and to Kayla DeMari for signing with Hawai’i Pacific University. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the graduating class and the rest of our amazing scholar athletes!
With so much buzzing on campus, during the summer months JSerra Blog decided to feature some of the great athletes working hard.
This week JSerra Blog catches up with cross-country senior and San Clemente resident, Kylee Fracassi.
JSerra Blog (JB): How did you get interested in running cross-country?
Kylee Fracassi (KF): I actually tried cross-country because my brother ran, and ended up staying because I loved it.
JB: Greatest athletic memory thus far?
KF: My greatest memory, that I don’t think I could ever forget was winning the State Championships two years in a row. It felt so great to have all our hard work pay off.
JB: What do you look forward to this upcoming cross-county season?
KF: I am really excited about getting to know more of the girls on the team and making great memories. And, of course I’d like to win State again.
JB: Any exciting summer plans?
KF: I’m looking forward to being a camp counselor at the Special Camp for Special Kids, and going to Mammoth with our cross-country team.
Summertime isn’t just about running for Fracassi, she also finds time to volunteer at the Shea Center, and is a member of the Habitat for Humanity Club and the Environmentality Club at JSerra. The All-League athlete hopes to run for Texas Christian University after leaving the hallowed halls of JSerra.
“Kylee is fiercely competitive and driven,” said Coach Marty Dugard of Fracassi’s skills on the track.
For more on the running lions visit them on Facebook.
JSerra’s girls swim team faced a daunting, new challenge during its quest for a second consecutive CIF Division 1 title.
Instead of playing the role of surprising upstart that marked their championship season in 2012, the Lions were a hunted team this season.
“I think people are coming after them,” JSerra coach Mary McLaughlin said.
But despite the tag of favorite — which usually brings added pressure — JSerra still found its desired destination.
Thanks to an atmosphere of fun and team unity nurtured by McLaughlin, the Lions captured a second straight Division 1 crown, setting a then-national record in the 400-yard freestyle relay and four Orange County records in the process.
For her efforts, McLaughlin has been selected the Register’s girls coach of the year for 2013.
“I want to make (swimming) as fun as possible for them,” the fourth-year coach said. “I try not to make it a big deal, and let them have a good time, and this has been our result.”
JSerra took Division 1 by storm two seasons ago, leaping from a 22nd-place finish in 2011 to its first CIF title.
JSerra’s girls sealed their second straight title by capturing the meet-ending 400-yard freestyle relay in a national record 3 minutes, 21.20 seconds.
JSerra racked up 243 points in holding off Corona del Mar (232), Santa Margarita (224) and University (215).
The JSerra girls led Corona del Mar, 199-194, going into the 400 relay. Santa Margarita (193) and University (191) also were close.
The Lions needed to win the relay to claim the title, but they also were after the national record.
“We were saying we’d be fine with either one,” JSerra’s Katie McLaughlin said. “(We) did not expect both. … It’s a little shocking.”
JSerra’s 400 team of Kaitlyn Albertoli (50.39), Karli Thuen(51.68), Rebecca Millard (49.97) and McLaughlin (49.16) broke the national record of Germantown Academy, Pa., which clocked a 3:21.63 in February.
To read more on the two-time CIF Championship girls swim team click here.
Season highlights: Miller was the OCVarsity.com freshman of the year last season and this season she moves up to first-team All-County after a sophomore year that saw her lead the Lions to a second-place finish in the Trinity League, the CIF-SS Division 4AA semifinals and the CIF Southern California Division 4 regional semifinals. She terrified opposing teams when she got hot from 3-point range. She had five games with four 3-pointers or more. JSerra played one of the toughest schedules in the county and Miller performed against all of the top teams. She scored a county-high 632 points.
Notable: Miller was the MVP of the Vernie Ford Classic and she made first-team All-Trinity League.
Quotable: Said JSerra coach Mary Rossignol: “Coco can score in so many different ways, (including) free throws, rebounds and put backs, steals, fast breaks and 3s. She sees the court so well and is an unselfish player. She will do whatever it takes for her team to be successful. Coco is a pleasure to coach and is a fine scholar-athlete.”
Mater Dei of Chula Vista coach David Monroe kept screaming from the sideline, “Somebody get on that shooter.”
That shooter he was referring to was JSerra sophomore Coco Miller, and nobody from the Crusaders was able to stop her.
Miller finished with 26 points, including four 3-pointers, five rebounds and four assists, to help the Lions defeat Mater Dei, 60-52, in the opening round of the CIF Southern California Division 4 Regionals on Wednesday night at JSerra.
JSerra (24-7) avenged a 69-66 overtime loss to the Crusaders (20-7) earlier this season.
“We played them earlier in the season over Christmas and we lost to them in a tough overtime game,” Miller said, “so coming into tonight we had to give it all we had and play with our hearts.”
The first half went back and forth, but the Crusaders had a 28-27 lead at halftime after Kandiss Barber’s breakaway layup at the buzzer.
JSerra was able to build a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and Miller sealed the victory with seven points in the final quarter.
JSerra point guard August Touchard turned in a gutsy effort. She injured her head and her ankle but never came out of the game, and she .
“I knew I had to step up especially when August got hurt,” Miller said.