It’s been one heck of a playoff run for the Vista Murrieta Lady Broncos, one that has had its fair share of up’s and downs. Despite falling to Marymount High School in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, Vista Murrieta qualified for the State Regional playoffs.
“It wasn’t our best match, that’s for sure, but it gave us time to work on things and do some scouting as well,” says coach Ed Taitano.
Once his squad hit the State tournament, Vista Murrieta came out strong and knocked off the No. 12 seed (La Jolla Country Day, the No. 4 seed (Mira Costa), and the No. 1 seed (Sierra Canyon) in consecutive matches. Those wins helped Vista Murrieta reach their first ever CIF State Regional championship match, where the Lady Broncos defeated No. 3 seed La Costa Canyon in a five-set thriller (25-20, 21-25, 32-30, 23-25, 15-9).
The third set was the most exciting for the fans as La Costa Canyon had set point six times but could not close things out. Vista Murrieta senior, Reka Monteleone, would slam down her seventh kill of the set to give Vista Murrieta a 31-30 lead, their third set point in the frame before defensive specialist, Bri Bellfi, served up the winning ace.
The Lady Broncos (24-11) are trying to be the second team from the Southwestern League to capture the Division I title in as many seasons. Temecula Valley claimed the championship last season, becoming the first Riverside County program to win state.
Vista Murrieta (24-11) will face Moraga Campolindo for the State Title at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.