CARLSBAD — Among the dozens of championship banners hanging in the Carlsbad High School gym, there were two sports missing.
But those gaps were filled this past weekend after the Lancers’ girls golf and volleyball teams each won their first-ever Division I CIF San Diego Section titles.
And both teams won in convincing fashion.
Led by senior Meghan Royal, who is a University of Arkansas commit, the Lancers girls’ golf team defeated second-place Torrey Pines by an eye-popping 32 strokes. Royal took home the individual title after finishing 8-under par.
Now, the Lancers prepare for the Southern California regional tournament on Nov. 11 in Pasadena.
The Lancers girls’ volleyball team also cruised to victory after posting a three-set sweep over Rancho Bernardo to capture the DI title. Carlsbad High didn’t lose a set throughout the entire tournament. The Lancers volleyball team also secured the No. 1 in the DII state tournament.
Golfers drive to the title
The Lancers’ run to its first-ever title has come thanks to the development of a core group of players, led by Royal, who will play at the University of Arkansas next season. She follows the footsteps of CHS and Razorback alum Alana Uriell, who currently plays on the LPGA Tour.
Royal shot 8-under par to win the individual title by six strokes and was followed by teammates Andee Avery (+1), Jasmine Kahler (+6), Tiffany Lin (+9) and Mimi Pierce (+39).
“It was very rewarding and this season we worked really hard,” Royal said. “We didn’t get to close it out last season … and to close it out was really cool. I’m really proud of that one (the individual title). Sitting on a lead like that after shooting a PR (personal record) was not easy.”
CHS, though, has been a force during the regular season, coach Brooke Brand said. The girls have not lost a regular-season tournament in three years but stumbled in CIF.
Last year, the season was moved to the spring due to the pandemic. Carlsbad was rolling but then two players suffered non-COVID-19 illnesses and the Lancers could not compete as a team, just with several individuals.
This year, Brand said the girls were focused and on a mission, led by the team’s No. 1 player Kahler, Royal, Avery and Lin. According to Brand, a second-year coach, Kahler and Avery, both juniors, are also being recruited by several Division I colleges.
Brand said the girls are ready for regionals, although it will be a step up in competition going against traditional powers. However, she said her lineup has the talent and ability to match the competition.
“We have a couple aces up our sleeve,” Brand said, a nod to her lineup. “As a team, we were so determined to get a CIF title. It was ours and we deserved it.”
Spikers sweep CIF sectional
Carlsbad had lost two of its last three regular-season matches before flipping the switch and mowing down the competition without losing a set thanks to a trio of NCAA DI commits.
Riley Schulz (Wyoming), Cayla Payne (Colorado) and Auburn Tomkinson (Texas) led the way as the Lancers blitzed Point Loma, Santa Fe Christian, El Capitan and Rancho Bernardo in the final.
Coach Tom Bloomquist said it took time in figuring out the pieces to the puzzle this year as he was mixing and matching the lineup. Carlsbad was 21-11 overall and 4-4 in league (third place) and earned the No. 4 seed in the Division I CIF tournament.
“A part of it was settling on a set lineup, and once we got that going, especially in the last seven matches, we started to click,” he said. “The team has really come together.”
Since CIF re-organizes the teams after the sectionals, Carlsbad is the top-seed in the DII state tournament and hosts its first match at 6 p.m. on Nov. 11 in Carlsbad. Additionally, if CHS continues its winning ways, the Lancers are just three matches away from the state final.
And since they’re a No. 1 seed, Carlsbad will host all its state matches until the final.
Regardless, Bloomquist said the team is focused and ready to reach its final goal.
“Our goal is to try to win state,” Bloomquist said. “We got some hurdles, but the girls want to do their best.”