Prep Volleyball news and notes: Week ending 8/26

Temecula Prep’s Isabella M (32) Bumps the volleyball during their 3-0 victory over West Valley. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

In this week’s news and notes we take a look at some tournament results along with previewing a big week ahead on the prep scene. We also highlight a big opening week for a recent star on the prep scene and a CIF-SS championship coach making his return to the sideline.

Tournament Results:

For a second straight year the Chaparral girls volleyball team took home a tournament championship at Grand Terrace High School’s Inland Empire Classic on Saturday, August 26. In pool play the Pumas defeated Carter, Redlands East Valley, and Rialto. Then in one set to 25 bracket play they defeated Rialto a second time before defeating Oak Hills (Hesperia) and finally Cajon (San Bernardino) in the championship match. Mauriana Rayford and Madison Johnson earned tournament awards for their play on Saturday.

Chaparral interim coach Gretchen Johnson and her team celebrated a second consecutive Inland Empire Classic title on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Grand Terrace High School in Colton. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Also in action for a second consecutive Saturday was Rancho Christian, who made the trip to Pacifica High School in Garden Grove for a tournament. They won a pool in which three of the four teams participating were league champions a year ago before falling in gold division bracket play to Canyon. In that AM pool they defeated Westminster, Fountain Valley, and El Modena.

Little starts college career off with huge weekend:

Vista Murrieta graduate Claire Little started her college career off in a big way last weekend at a tournament hosted by the University of Montana. Her BYU team, ranked number 17 by the AVCA to start the year, finished a perfect 3-0 with 3-1 wins over fifth ranked Pitt, UTRGV, and Montana.

2023 Vista Murrieta graduate Claire Little (#12), seen here celebrating a point in BYU’s four set win over fifth ranked Pitt on Friday, Aug. 25, at Montana, had a big weekend in her first collegiate action. Valley News/Courtesy: Derek Johnson and Tanner Ecker (Montana Athletic Communications)

Little started all three matches, averaging 2.58 kills per set and 2.17 digs per set. In the win over Pitt, her collegiate debut, she recorded 11 kills and nine digs as BYU upset the fifth ranked Panthers.

Amoy wins debut match as Cornerstone Christian coach:

For a Cornerstone Christian team that only recorded four wins a season ago, opening against CSDR, a perennial playoff representative from the Arrowhead League, was thought to be a tough challenge. Instead, the Crusaders and their first-year head coach Paul Amoy, who led Calvary Murrieta to CIF-SS championships in 2007 and 2008, came away with a three-set sweep by scores of 25-12, 25-15, 25-16. The Crusaders are just three years removed from a 2019 CIF-SS division nine championship.

Matches to watch:

Here’s a look at some matches to watch as week three begins…

Tuesday, Aug. 29

Paloma Valley at Redlands – 5 p.m.

The Wildcats started their season off with a bang in a five-set win on the road against Santiago (a co-champion from the Big VIII League) and will really test themselves with a road trip to last year’s Citrus Belt League champions. Redlands standout outside hitter Julia Tolstova, who last week eclipsed 1,000 career kills, and Saniyah Sobers provide a potent one-two punch for setter Lauren Reiter to choose from.

Wednesday, Aug. 30

Chaparral at Etiwanda – 4:45 p.m.

This will likely be Chaparral’s biggest test of their non-league schedule. Etiwanda was last year’s Baseline League champion but fell to Orange Lutheran in an opening round playoff match. Meanwhile, the Pumas look to complete an undefeated non-league campaign at 10-0.

Thursday, Aug. 31

Desert Christian Academy at Temecula Prep – 5:30 p.m.

This is a big matchup as the top two South Valley League teams meet for the first time this season in Temecula. Desert Christian Academy swept the series last season en route to an undefeated league title.

Derryl Trujillo can be reached via email at