While football still dominates the headlines this time of year, plenty of intriguing action took place in other Trinity League sports this fall.
The Santa Margarita football team wasn’t as consistent as it hoped under a new coaching staff, but across the board in all sports, the Eagles likely enjoyed the most overall success of any Trinity League school during September and October.
The biggest upset in any of the league’s sports—boys or girls—occurred Oct. 25, when the Santa Margarita boys’ water polo team travelled to Studio City in Los Angeles to take on Harvard-Westlake, the top-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 1 and undefeated at 21-0.
The Eagles came away with a 10-9 win that sent shockwaves through swimming pools across Southern California.
And it wasn’t just the victory that was so unpredictable, but the way the Eagles won. They trailed 9-6 with 6 minutes 41 seconds remaining in the game before they outscored the Wolverines, 4-0, down the stretch to earn the improbable victory.
Among the 21 victories by Harvard-Westlake prior to meeting Santa Margarita this season were two each against Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran.
Santa Margarita lost 20-10 to Orange Lutheran on Sept. 22 and 14-6 to Mater Dei on Oct. 6.
The girls’ fall athletic programs at Santa Margarita also enjoyed phenomenal success during regular-season play.
The tennis, volleyball and golf teams all won league titles.
The tennis team beat Rosary on Oct. 25 to finish league play tied with Mater Dei for the league title, the 11th consecutive season the Eagles have won or shared the league championship.
The key win for the Eagles came Oct. 4, when they won five of six sets in the final round to take an 11-7 victory on their home courts. Santa Margarita senior Katie Chang, the niece of former French Open champion Michael Chang, has been a mainstay for the Eagles this season, who also received a huge boost to the program from freshmen singles players Elizabeth Bondy and Amelia Kitts.
The Santa Margarita girls’ volleyball team defeated Mater Dei on Oct. 20 to finish league play unbeaten. The Monarchs came into the season ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today and Santa Margarita was No. 3, but the Eagles swept Mater Dei on Sept. 28 and beat them again in four games on Oct. 20.
Meghan McClure was the dominant force for Santa Margarita again this season, and the Stanford-bound senior was recognized in October as being one of 14 players—including two from California—in the running for MaxPreps National Volleyball Player of the Year.
The Santa Margarita girls’ golf team also concluded league play with a perfect 8-0 record and outright league championship for the second consecutive season. Kiara Boggs and Rylie Edwards led the way for the Eagles.
The Santa Margarita girls’ athletic programs will look to continue their momentum in the winter season.
The girls’ season begins Nov. 28 with the Husky Invitational at Fairmont Prep High School.
The girls’ soccer team, which will be defending its CIF-SS Division I and Southern California Regional titles this season, gets underway Nov. 29 against visiting El Toro, and the girls’ water polo team kicks off its season Dec. 5 against visiting Trabuco Hills.