One thing had always eluded them.
Torrey Pines High’s girls volleyball team has claimed San Diego Section championships, won league titles, put players on the all-section team and loads of players getting college scholarships.
But the Falcons had never won a state championship.
They have now, and the section champions made it look very easy.
Torrey Pines had one tough set as it blasted Kentfield Marin Catholic 25-11, 25-23, 25-14 to win the state Open Division championship Saturday night, Nov. 23, at Santiago Canyon College.
The 24th consecutive victory by the Falcons (39-2) was the biggest win in school history.
“We have a unique group of people and today we all achieved our goal,” Torrey Pines coach Brennan Dean said. “We talk all the time about the seniors on this team being the grandmothers and the younger kids are the future.
“I can’t imagine another team in the country that has as much depth as we do.”
Torrey Pines was able to run off points streaks all night.
The Falcons had two 4-0 runs in the first set and a pair of 5-0 runs as well.
In the second set, they had two 3-0 runs and two 4-0 runs.
The third set was more of the same with two 3-0 runs, a 4-0 run included in a 7-1 streak and a 6-0 run.
“We passed really well and that made my job easier,” said senior setter Carly Diehl, who had five of her team’s 11 aces as well as five kills.
In its first state title match, Marin Catholic (35-4) was never tied in the first set, fell just short in the second set where the score was tied 11 times and there were five lead changes and lost the lead at 3-2 in the final set.
The Falcons have not reached the state finals since 2001 in Division I and have lost all three previous appearances, including the finals in 1992 and ’93 in Division II.
“This school was founded in 1974 and a lot of really good teams couldn’t do this,” Dean said. “All those past coaches were my mentors.
“This is something monumental for the school and the community and the alumni and these 19 girls.”
The first set was all Falcons.
Led by Diehl’s four aces, Torrey Pines never trailed and set the tone with two 4-0 runs and a pair of 5-0 runs.
In the second set, Falcons senior Maya Satchell sparked the Falcons with five kills and two blocks while Diehl had three kills and another ace and Sophia Callahan added two kills and a block.
The scored was tied 11 times and there were four lead changes.
Senior Delaynie Maple led the Falcons with eight kills, two blocks and three aces. Satchell added seven kills and two blocks while senior Trinity Durfee had five kills.
“This is not just a team, it’s a family,” Satchell said. “We have played teams with amazing players and we stuck together every time.”
“They served the bananas out of the ball,’’ Marin Catholic coach Jake Spain said. “We knew that coming in. They were tough.’’
In other championship matches Saturday, Aptos defeated Ojai Nordhoff 25-12, 25-17, 26-28, 25-21 for the Division IV crown; in a battle of two first time finalists San Francisco Lowell downed South Pasadena 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20 in Division III and Ontario Christian, the 11th seed, beat Los Gatos 25-21, 26-24, 25-20 in Division II.
— Terry Monahan is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune.