There was a time, not long ago, that the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball team was not only one of the best within the San Gabriel Valley, but one of the stronger programs in all of Southern California.
That distinction was cultivated on the back of Mission League championships, 20-win seasons and victories versus strong teams, both locally and throughout the Southland.
“When I came here, I was definitely aware of the rich tradition at Flintridge Sacred Heart,” Tologs second-year Coach Ernest Banaag said. “The talent was definitely here, but it was just a matter of finding a leader and building a team.”
Banaag, a winner of three CIF-Southern Section championships at nearby Mayfield Senior School, found such a leader in Sophia Coffey.
Yet, the junior wasn’t a menacing middle blocker or a powerful outside hitter.
Rather, the 16-year-old was even more valuable serving all positions on the court as a setter who excelled at passing and other duties.