CalHiSports announced its first- and second-team All-State girls volleyball teams on Thursday, as well as its state Coach of the Year. The city of San Francisco was well-represented.
Sacred Heart Cathedral head coach Margi Beima took home Coach of the Year honors, her first from CalHiSports, after previously being named the 2010-11 CIF State Model Coach of the Year and 2010 Western Regional Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Duke-bound St. Ignatius middle blocker Lizzie Fleming was named All-State First Team, while Marin Catholic middle blocker Kari Geissberger and one of Beima’s own players — senior Lauren Sera — were named to the second team.
Beima, a coach at Sacred Heart Cathedral for 21 years, and the Fightin’ Irish’s head coach for the last 17, has over 400 wins, and guided her team this year to the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division title, earning the No. 1 seed for the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs and staying in the top 10 of the state for the entire season.
Beyond wins and losses, one of the reasons she was selected, according to CalHiSports, was for her compassion in dealing with Sera, whose mother suddenly passed away last year, and was still dealing with grief during the season. She made sure to give Sera all the time she needed.
“Margi, she’s really good on being in-tune with yourself,” Sera said after she had a career day in helping lead Sacred Heart Cathedral to a WCAL tournament title win over Fleming’s Wildcats.
In her career, Beima now has two WCAL titles, seven CCS championships, five NorCal titles and a 2014 CIF Division III state title in 2014.
The Irish’s battles this year with Fleming’s Wildcats were the highlight of the NorCal girls’ volleyball season. Fleming, the co-Player of the Year in the WCAL, had 507 kills (breaking the 1,300-kill mark for her career) and 121 blocks in 42 games this season. She is leaving behind quite a legacy at St. Ignatius, and not just on the volleyball court. The human trafficking awareness club she started as a freshman now has over 150 members.
Geissberger and her Marin Catholic Wildcats helped end Fleming’s season with 10 kills in a 3-0 sweep in the first regional round of the Open Division state playoffs. The 6-foot-6 junior had 280 kills this season, hit .371, tallied 29 aces, 24 solo blocks and 108 digs.