Sports

GOLDEN GIRLS

9/18/2019

They’re dispersed at colleges from coast to coast, playing women’s volleyball at every level offered by the NCAA. 

Some will try to lead their team to another national championship this fall, while others would be satisfied just to win more matches than they lose. 

One thing these athletes will always have in common is their backgrounds. All prepared themselves for their college careers at Trinity League high schools. 

The most familiar name over the last five years is likely Meghan McClure, a three-time Trinity League most valuable player at Santa Margarita from 2014-16. 

McClure now stars for Stanford, which won its second national championship in three years last fall. Thanks to players like McClure, the Cardinal opened this season ranked No. 1 in the nation in all the major polls. 

And then there are McClure’s teammates for three years at Santa Margarita, Gaby Barcelos and Haley Carmo. They elected to sign with Cal State Fullerton in hopes of breathing life into the struggling program. 

Barcelos and Carmo helped Fullerton win six matches as freshmen last season, more than half of what the Titans totaled in the previous three seasons. 

“They are really great learners of the game,” Fullerton coach Ashley Preston told the Daily Titan. 

Sarah Ciszek graduated with Barcelos and Carmo and headed for Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. She was the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year and Setter of the Year last season. 

Brittney Pinzon graduated from Rosary in 2017 and headed to the United States Merchant Marine Academy just outside New York City. As a freshman setter for the Mariners last season, she was second on the team with 333 assists. 

Haylee Gasser graduated from JSerra in 2016 and is expected to be one of the top players for Seton Hall again this season. She led the Pirates in blocks last season and was third in kills. 

Shannon Scully is set to return for her junior season at Pepperdine. She was one of three players to start all 31 matches last season, leading the Waves at 3.31 kills per set. 

Rachel Ritchie was Scully’s teammate during their junior years at Mater Dei. She landed at Georgia after transferring back to San Juan Hills High School for her senior year.  

Ritchie was first on the Bulldogs and ninth in the Southeastern Conference at 3.35 kills a set last season. She also led Georgia with 33 aces. 

Ritchie initially signed with Loyola Marymount, but when Tom Black left LMU to take the head coaching job at Georgia, she eventually decided to follow him there. 

“The second time recruiting her was harder than the first,” Black told the Georgia school newspaper, The Red & Black. “When she finally committed to us, it was a great day.” 

A great opportunity to watch several former Trinity League players in action would be on Oct. 25, when Stanford visits UCLA in a Pac-12 match. 

Not only does Stanford have McClure, but Natalie Berty is a freshman outside hitter for the Cardinal. She helped Mater Dei win the CIF-State Open Division title last season and won Trinity League MVP honors. 

UCLA will be led by another one of McClure’s former teammates, setter Devon Chang, who was second on the team with 350 sets last season. Kelsey Campeau, a 2018 Mater Dei graduate, is a sophomore libero for the Bruins.

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