Natalie Berty, who helped lead Mater Dei to the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 and State Open Division championships, was named the CIF-SS Division 1 Player of the Year Nov. 26.

The CIF-SS Girls Volleyball Coaches' Selection Committee also named Mater Dei’s Dan O’Dell as Coach of the Year in D-1 (his second straight selection), and St. Anthony’s Alicia Lemau’u as Coach of the Year in D-5.

Berty’s selection marks the eighth time a Monarch has received Player of the Year honors. Previous Mater Dei honorees were Breegan Mulligan (2001), Mallorie Croal (2002, 2003 and 2004), Frankie Shebby (2013), Alyse Ford (2014) and Sienna Secrest (2017).

A 6-foot-3 senior outside hitter and team co-captain, Berty was joined on the D-1 first team by fellow Monarchs Mia Tuaniga, junior setter, and Mandalay Renon, senior libero, along with two Marymount seniors, setter Grace Frohling and outside hitter Devon Newberry. Tuaniga and Newberry were also first team choices in 2017.

Altogether, 14 players from Catholic schools were first team choices in various divisions. The 2018 All-CIF selections, presented by the LA84 Foundation, included the following:

  • D-2: Deni Wilson, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks senior middle blocker, and Aset Baker-Falealili, St. Joseph/Lakewood senior outside hitter.
  • D-3: Annah Rivera, Alemany senior outside hitter.
  • D-4: Bishop Montgomery’s Maddy Cardenas, senior outside hitter, and Dakota Quinlan, sophomore middle blocker.
  • D-5: St. Anthony’s Isabella Bareford, junior setter, and Tiare Jennings, junior outside hitter.
  • D-8: Kyla Lenehan, Villanova Prep senior middle blocker, and Meghann Velasquez, Holy Family junior outside hitter (and a repeat selection from 2017).


Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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