New set of volleyball stars boost Santa Fe Christian

Winning volleyball championships was supposed to stop with national Player of the Year Lexi Sun’s final season in 2016.

For the third year in a row, the last two without Sun, Santa Fe Christian has captured a San Diego Section title.

Seniors Abby Phillips, Sara Jones and Anaree Smith celebrated for a third straight year after a 25-19, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22 win over Westview in Saturday’s Division I championship match at Cathedral Catholic High.

“People were surprised we won last year without Lexi, so that put a big target on our back,” Phillips said. “I will miss playing here, especially with my sister (Kate) on the team.”

The crown will go well with the Open title from 2016 and last year’s Division I championship.

The fact the top-seeded Eagles (25-11) won Saturday is a testament to a rally from an 18-11 deficit in the third set.

“Finally, something clicked just in time,” said Abby Phillips, who had 17 kills, four blocks and two aces. “We dug a big ditch and found our way out.”

Sophomore sister Kate saved the Eagles with eight of her 12 kills in the third set.

“She’s a stud,” Abby said. “She absolutely saved us.”

The 14-4 run set up Santa Fe Christian to clinch with a 7-0 rally in the fourth set.

No. 3 Westview (24-17) got 13 kills from Lauren Laundroche and seven kills each from Obu Anyanwu and Sabrina Speratti.

by Terry Monahan