Mira Costa defeated Palos Verdes 3-0 in the Southern Pacific Girls Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League's inaugural match last Saturday at Dockweiler State Beach.
The IBVL began league play after a week of non-league matches.
"The league is operated by the Southern Pacific AAU Volleyball Committee, which is the district responsible for AAU volleyball in Southern California," said AAU beach volleyball commissioner Gino Grajeda. "We are proud to be the host of the high school volleyball league in its inaugural season. For such a date early in March, the level of play was impressive and we look forward to a continued high level of competition."
Mira Costa is one of eight schools participating in the new league that also includes El Segundo, Marymount, Carson, Palos Verdes, Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough and Valencia.
El Segundo, Marymount and Valencia also won last weekend and share first place with Mira Costa after one week.
Mira Costa was led by its No. 1 team of Katie Warshaw and Lan Nguyen. They defeated the No. 1 team from Palos Verdes, Bryce Bark and Keaton Alley, 21-12, 21-13.
Mira Costa's No. 2 team of Skylar Caputo and Keala Rusher beat Palos Verdes' No. 2 team of Sam Hunter and Claire Garrison, 21-11, 21-14, to clinch the victory.
"I think this is such an exciting step for the sport. We're so lucky to be able to have this opportunity at Mira Costa," said freshman Keala Rusher. "I love beach volleyball because it's a team, yet semi-individual sport and it's so fun to be on the beach with your friends and compete against other high schools ... it was better than anyone expected."
Mira Costa also won 21-14, 21-11 in its other match.
"I have been playing beach volleyball for a while now and wished that one day it would become a high school sport," said Caputo. "The new league has offered my teammates and I a chance to make history by playing the sport we love."
Lauren Fuller of Manhattan Beach teamed up with Christine Irvin of Pacific Palisades as Marymount's No. 1 team. They also won with a two set victory against Carson's Chasticy Gonzales and Jasmine Braff, 21-11, 21-10.
"There is such great support here as so many current and former AVP players are in the area and are enthusiastic about the sport and training a new generation to play on the beach," said Stacy Rusher, who is involved with the Mira Costa team, but is not in a head coaching capacity. "It is a great time to be a beach volleyball player with the sport coming to the college level. To have it at the high school level is very exciting and fun to watch."
Mira Costa girls volleyball head coach Lisa Zimmerman agreed and was very proud of the players.
"Mira Costa is excited to be a part of the inaugural high school beach volleyball league," she said. "With the addition of sand volleyball by the NCAA, female student-athletes have another venue to display their talents. Training and competing on the sand is great for the indoor game and opens new opportunities for more girls to play. The Costa beach team played great and competed well. I am proud of them."