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2007 All-area Team ?girls’ Volleyball:

Setting the STANDARD

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy senior setter Sam Orlandini put up numbers and achieved success with the Tologs that might never be duplicated

January 02, 2008|By Story by Gabriel Rizk ?Photo by Tammy Abbott

It’s not the first time that Sam Orlandini has been named All Area Girls’ Volleyball Player of the Year. The sports writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, Crescenta Valley Sun and La Cañada Sun unanimously voted the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy setter to that award last year as well.

The Tologs’ highly successful 2007 season also was not the first in which Orlandini garnered co-Most Valuable Player honors for the Mission League — it was the second consecutive time — nor did it mark her first foray deep into a CIF postseason.

As she readies herself for a collegiate career, the high school legacy Orlandini leaves behind is sure to go down as the stuff of legend — and not just at Sacred Heart.

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Her mark of 4,263 career assists is an all-time state record, according to totals reported to CalHiSports.com, and also ranks among the top-five career totals reported in the National High School Sports Record Book.

She is a three-time league champion and, on the prevailing side of 111 matches, is the winningest player in the history of a program that advanced to at least a CIF semifinal in each of her four years as a starter.

“She’s had a tremendous four years,” Tologs Coach Shelli Orlandini said. “She really is an all-around leader and player.”

However, 2007 was more than just the most recent year in which Sam Orlandini has tasted success.

It was simply her best yet.

Statistically, the past season was a banner year for the Cal State University Northridge-bound senior — one in which she eclipsed her previous career-high, single-season assist total of 981 with a state-leading 1,194 assists in 105 games.

She also registered a new single-match career high in assists with 52 against Notre Dame Academy Sept. 17.

In terms of team success, 2007 also represented a new plateau for Sam Orlandini, as she was able to lead the Tologs (28-6) to an appearance in the CIF Southern Section Division I-A final following three straight campaigns halted in the semis.

“I just wanted to do the best for my senior year and for the rest of my team,” she said. “I’m really proud of everything our team accomplished this year.”

Behind Orlandini’s career-high playoff average of 35.7 assists per match, Sacred Heart stormed back to the semifinal round.

There, it swept Santa Barbara, the team which ended the Tologs’ 2006 playoff run.

Orlandini’s last game was a 33-assist, 15-dig effort in the Tologs’ 3-1 Division I-A final loss.

“I was really happy when we went to the CIF finals, even though we lost,” Sam Orlandini said. “The whole team just wanted to get there, and I think wanting it was just as important as [thinking we could get there].

“We just came together and we went for it.”

With Orlandini leading the way.


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