On the final night of nonleague play, Bishop Montgomery girls volleyball coach Carrie Rey stood at center court and dissected her team's win on Wednesday night.
She found bright spots in nabbing a 25-15, 25-15, 25-21 sweep against Torrance without a healthy Rachel Clark playing a full match. The star hitter's limited role provided an opportunity for Bria Green to showcase her abilities.
"I was really happy with the play of our freshman," Rey said of Green, who recorded five kills and a game-high four blocks. "She's just an amazing athlete. She has wonderful instincts, and we just kind of let her go and she does her thing. It's just fun to watch.
"For her to step up with Rachel out, (that) was really key for us. Taking the shoes in place of a senior is tough."
But Rey, the Daily Breeze Coach of the Year in 2008, also found room for improvement.
"Ideally you'd love to serve the entire game and be able to block or side out. But in this type of scoring, it's not going to happen," Rey said. "There's always something to get better on. It's a game of who makes the least amount of errors, and the goal is to play a perfect game."
Clark agreed, adding the Knights could improve on communication and defense. That area was exploited in the final game of the match Tuesday when they allowed Torrance's highest output, 21 points.
"We didn't stop playing," Tartars coach Nathan Jones said. "I was a little more enthused with how we played in Game 3 - we played all the way through. It wasn't perfect, but it was better."
Torrance, which has battled injuries, was led by Katie Judd's 12 kills and 10 digs. But her efforts weren't enough to salvage the slumping Tartars, owners of a 5-9 record.
Bishop's Sami Almaraz had a game-high 12 kills along with four digs.
Teammate Corrine Belandres doled out 18 assists, and Dani Bongard supplied 15 digs.
If Bishop hopes to tamper with a game-plan that has produced an 11-4 record heading into league play, it will have less than 24 hours to do that.
The Knights begin Del Rey League competition tonight at La Salle High School in Pasadena.
Clark, who was restricted to less than two games with a sprained right ankle and the flu, said she will play tonight.
"I hate sitting on the bench," she said after posting five kills and six digs. "I love cheering on my team, but I like to be in the game, in the moment."
The Knights will welcome her efforts in the quest to another league title.
Ranked in the top five in their division, Bishop has been crowned league champion five times this decade, including three straight titles from 2006-08. However, a humbling 3-0 loss to Archibishop Mitty in the fourth round of the playoffs last year left a bitter taste.
The Knights' key to return to prominence?
"That (my players) treat every match like they're playing the national team," Rey said. "That's the goal."