REGION — The Lancers’ hunt for championship banners came to an end for both the girls’ volleyball and football teams this weekend.
In the program’s first-ever appearance in a state final, the top-seeded Carlsbad High School girls volleyball team fell 3-1 to Redwood High School on Nov. 20 in a Division II State Championship game at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.
The loss marked the final chapter of the Lancers’ historic volleyball season.
“It was amazing,” said CHS Volleyball Coach Tom Bloomquist said of the run. “We went further than any (volleyball) team in the history of Carlsbad. It was awesome.”
On the court, Carlsbad won the first set, 25-16, but dropped the final three sets, 22-25, 22-25 and 20-25, as the Giants (30-6) were able to hold off the Lancers’ big hitters. Carlsbad (24-12) was led by senior standout Rylee Schulz, who had 23 kills, while Cayla Payne added eight kills followed by Megan Corona (six) and Auburn Tomkinson (five).
Lancers’ setter Jordan Stevens added 40 assists and three aces, while Payne and Riley Knudsen each had one block.
“We took them in the first set … and I thought ‘Wow, we’re on tonight,’” Bloomquist said. “In the second and third sets, we too much of a deficit. It just wasn’t our night.”
Over the course of a historic season, the Lancers won their first-ever San Diego CIF Section title without losing a set and went on to capture the Southern California Regional (another program first) before reaching the state final.
Back in North County, the Lancers’ football team lost 48-19 to Cathedral Catholic in a CIF San Diego Open Division title game on Saturday night at Escondido High School.
The Carlsbad High football team, chasing its seventh overall CIF championship, ended its season 11-1 overall, while the Dons advance to the Southern California Regionals.
Carlsbad was a bit “unlucky” defending the run, allowing Cathedral running back Lucky Sutton to run for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Sutton ripped off three 70-plus-yard runs, including touchdown runs of 77 and 88 yards.
The Lancers started the scoring after quarterback Julian Sayin connected to running back Matt Moore with a 67-yard screen pass for a touchdown to take an early 6-0 lead. But the Dons answered in three plays, capping the drive with a four-yard TD run from Sutton.
Carlsbad had two turnovers on consecutive drives deep in the Dons’ territory — a fumble by Sayin and an interception by Moore on a half-back pass. Sayin had an otherwise solid performance, throwing for 251 yards and two TDs.
“Our kids always played hard and the margin of error against these guys is very, very little,” said CHS coach Thadd McNeal. “We made some mistakes early and they get on top of you and that changes your game plan a little bit.”
The Lancers’ turnovers proved costly. Cathedral scored off the interception and then added a second-quarter score on a 51-yard TD pass from Charlie Mirer to Rex Haynes to lead 21-6 at halftime. The Dons pulled away in the second half and added a fumble return for a touchdown to ice the game.
The loss ended the Lancers’ 17-game winning streak dating back to last spring.
“We won 17 games in a row and that’s hard to do,” McNeal added. “We won our league and got to the Open Championship again. We got to keep working and somehow win this thing.”