This is the second of eight editions in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2010-11 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.
For the area's three small schools — Renaissance Academy, Holy Family and Glendale Adventist Academy — there proved to be something old and something new during the 2010-11 school year. Some of the teams produced winning records and won league championships for the first time.
The Renaissance Academy basketball team once again dominated. Holy Family tasted success in volleyball and softball and Glendale Adventist Academy moved into the Liberty League after previously competing in the Westside League.
Renaissance Academy won a Harbor League championship in boys' basketball, clinching it outright on the final night of the regular season and advanced to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.
Holy Family took control early and reeled in an undefeated Horizon League title in volleyball and took second in softball.
At Glendale Adventist, the Cougars fielded a girls' soccer team for the first time and the basketball teams each participated in nonleague games for the second straight season at Staples Center.
Here is a recap of some of the respective schools' athletic highlights and events that unfolded during the past year:
•Sept. 14, 2010 — The Holy Family volleyball team begins its season with a 22-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-17 nonleague road victory against Santa Clara. The Gaels receive 18 kills and 12 digs from Ashlee Sandoval.
•Oct. 5, 2010 — Holy Family's volleyball team kicks off Horizon League action with a 25-16, 25-13, 25-18 home win against L.A. Sacred Heart of Jesus at Pacific Community Center. Aurora Aguirre leads the Gaels with nine kills.
•Oct, 19, 2010 — The Holy Family volleyball team receives 50 digs from Alicia Marquez and Ashlee Sandoval adds 13 kills and 21 digs to help Holy Family net a 27-29, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-12 Horizon League victory against Alverno at Pacific Park Community Center.
"Basically, there's one goal and that's to win the league championship," Bringas said. "This was our opportunity to be able to come back and take advantage of going after that goal.
"Our serving was aggressive and our people started clicking [after the second game]. We began pushing the play."
Holy Family sweeps the two-match season series against defending-league champion Alverno.
•Oct. 26, 2010 — Holy Family's volleyball team wins its first league championship with a 25-12, 25-22, 25-16 home win against Bishop Conaty-Loretto at Pacific Park Community Center. The Gaels get 21 assists from Rebecca Sanchez and 27 digs from Alicia Marquez.
"Getting up at 5 a.m. every day and going to practice is fun," Sanchez said. "It's really a great accomplishment to win league and it will sink in when the [league championship] banner goes up at school.
"We thought this could be our year because we basically had the same team as last year. We just had to go out there and work that much harder."
•Nov. 9, 2010 — The Holy Family volleyball team sees its season come to a close with a 16-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-19 loss to Santa Clarita Christian in a CIF Southern Section Division IVA first-round match at Providence High. Holy Family finishes 12-13 and 8-0 in league.
"We made a lot of mistakes that cost us and we weren't down by much," said Holy Family Coach Robert Bringas, who gets 29 digs and eight kills from junior outside hitter Shanelle Agito and 26 digs from junior libero Alicia Marquez. "We were trying to overcome a two-or-three-point hump.
"I can't say that we didn't put up a fight. We fell short. A couple of points here or there was the difference."
•Nov. 30, 2010 — In a pool-play game in the 42nd annual Bulldog Tip-Off Classic at Burbank High, Renaissance Academy's Jessy Cantinol scores a game-high 12 points and grabs nine rebounds in a 49-25 win against Burroughs. Troy Fontanilla adds 10 points and Jasper Hwang has eight. The Wildcats' defense causes 24 turnovers.