Strong season comes to end for beach volleyball team at state individual tournament

The most consistent pair for the El Camino beach volleyball team was the first to go down.

No. 25 Jewel Yandall and Brooklyn Rubio could not overcome the seed difference against Grossmont’s No. 8 overall seed of Alejandra Rademacher and Katie Puga.

“We played a good team,” Yandall said.

Followed by the No. 1 pair of Laynie Thompson and Sadie Fraker, and then the No. 3 pair of Brooke Russell and Taylor Brydon.

The final shot for the Warriors, to make it to Sunday’s quarter finals, was the No. 1 overall seed of Michelle Shimamoto and Nickeisha Williams.

Unfortunately for the No. 1 seed, the duo of Nina Holmes and Morgan Hughes (No. 17 seed) took early leads and eventually upset Williams/Shimamoto on Saturday.

The El Camino beach volleyball team’s season ends at 16-2 overall (15-1 in the regular season, 1-1 in the post season) and with four pairs advancing to the state tournament.

“It feels really great (to beat the No. 1 seed),” Holmes said. “We came out here like, ‘let’s have some fun and play our game’ and we had something that really works for us.”

Her partner Hughes added afterward that the communication was a strong point for her and Holmes throughout the match.

El Camino coach Le Valley Pattison said even though the team has played great this season, she felt the pairs played better at the conference tournament.

“It’s a high-quality tournament (with all the teams),” she said. “I’m glad we have some freshman on the team to experience things. So they’ll know how good they have to be, to be one of the best.”

Brydon and Rubio are the only freshman to make it to the state tournament as Victoria Curtice and Jessica Dow failed to reach the state tournament.

While Jewel Yandall said that she still has the eligibility to return to the team next spring.

Season highlights:

  • The Warriors won conference going 6-0 in the Western State Conference.
  • EC takes second place at the SoCal Regionals after falling to Golden West, but beating San Diego Mesa.
  • Michelle Shimamoto and Nickeisha Williams win the WSC individual pair’s tournament.
  • Brooke Russell and Taylor Brydon take second place.
  • El Camino advanced four pairs to the state tournament (most in the state).