More Griffins lead US teams into world tourneys; Nugent transfers to Tennessee

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WATER POLO: Weber joins Fattal on US team for womens world championships

Former Griffin waterpolo star Bayley Weber was named to the US Womens National team for the upcoming world championships, joining fellow Griffin alum Rachel Fattal on the national team roster. We believe this is the first time two former Griffins have been on the same national team.

It’s her latest big step for Weber who also made U.S. team for Worlds last summer in Hungary. She completed her college career at USC this year, earning MPSF Player of the Year honors after scoring 71 goals scored and 95 points. She was Orange County Water Polo Player of the Year as a senior at Los Alamitos High

World Championships are of course old hat for Fattal who has been a key player on the US national team since 2013, and a member of two Olympic gold medal winning teams.


VOLLEYBALL: Wong-Orantes and US Women advance to World League semi-finals

The US Women’s National Volleyball team, captained by Justine Wong-Orantes (LAHS ’13) defeated Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18) in the quarterfinals of the Volleyball Nations League in Texas, and will play Turkey in the semi-finals on Saturday at 5:30 pm Central time. The matches are being played in Arlington, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

China and Poland will play in the other semi-final, with the winners meeting on Sunday. The matches can be watched on Volleyballworld.tv — a pay service.

16 teams began the three stage tournament in late May – with only 8 teams qualifying for the final stage which began on Wednesday

The quarterfinal win over Japan helped diminish the memory of last year’s quarterfinal loss to Serbia in the Final Round, and a loss to Japan during this year’s preliminary pool round. Despite the losses, the Americans are still the #1 ranked team in the world and looking to defend the gold medal they won at the Tokyo Olympics. The Paris Olympics are one year and two weeks from now.

Of the 14 players on the current roster, seven were on the team that won gold in Tokyo, including Wong-Orantes who was named the outstanding libero at the Olympic Games.


SOFTBALL: Former Griffin start Nugent transfers from Oklahoma to Tennessee

Former Los Al Griffin softball standout Sophia Nugent, who is from Seal Beach, California, has entered the NCAA transfer portal and left Oklahoma to play softball next year for the University of Tennessee. The Vols actively recruited Nugent while she was at Los Al where she who was ranked No. 3 overall and the No. 1 catcher in the 2021 class by Extra Inning Softball. Nugent instead signed with Oklahoma and played on the Sooners 2022 NCAA championship team but was a little frustrated with her pinch hitter and spot-duty catcher role. Still, she hit .274 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs this season and had five games where she had at least three RBIs for OU this season.

“I have had a wonderful time in Norman, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to play for the University of Oklahoma,” said Nugent in her announcement. “I am excited for what the future holds.”

Nugent will follow in the footsteps of many Griffins have played at Tennessee over the past ten years including Megan Geer, Jenna Holcomb and Kaitlyn Parsons.


LOS AL FOOTBALL: Griffins commits and Coaches Corner Kickoff Dinner

The Griffins are winding down their summer football activities which included a Silver Bracket championship at Edison’s Battle of the Beach, topped off with a number of college committments — all of which we should note are unofficial until the signatures are put on the official Letters of Intent which can’t be signed until November.

However to officially (we think) kick off their 2023 Fall season, the Griffins are hosting their first annual Coaches’ Corner Kickoff Meeting at Griffins Grill on July 31 from 6pm-7:30.

On the recruiting front, Los Al lineback Kamar Mothudi has committed to play football for the Oregon Ducks next year, while tight end Davon Mitchell inked a commit with Oklahoma, and “reclassified” himself as now part of the Class of 24, foregoing his fourth year of high school. Mothudi played football at Campbell Hall for his first three years, while Mitchell, the #1 ranked tight end prospect transferred to Los Al from Allen High School in Texas in February. He had firm offers from Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas before he ever played an official down fore the Griffins.

On the homegrown front, Los Al sophomore Manoah Faupusa delivered some upperclassman like weightlifting numbers, which is a big reason he is in the running for sophomore of the year voting.

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