“I guess we can blame the start a little on the weather,” Cantor said. “It was too hot. Just watching the JV match before, we started off a bit slow, but we came back in the second, third and fourth games.” Ashley Eppler led Mary Star (12-8, 3-3) with 15 kills and eight digs. Robin Skale added 10 kills, three digs and three aces. Lauren Costa contributed 38 assists and four aces, and Charlene Bautista added 22 digs. Cantor said he was also impressed with the play of Michelle Ferrigno, who showed her versatility at outside hitter and opposite hitter. “Ashley Eppler had some big kills, and Michelle Ferrigno had one of her best games,” Cantor said. “Pretty much anything Michelle did was outstanding. She’s working hard, and it showed on the court.” Seini Tukutau had 17 kills for Serra. Marielle Brosner contributed 16 kills and 11 digs, and Christine Barba had 34 assists for Serra (9-6, 2-4). Mary Star had swept Serra earlier in the season, but the Stars said they knew they had a tough battle ahead, especially with a potential playoff berth on the line. “Serra looked a little more confident in this match,” Cantor said. “I guess they were at home and they wanted to beat us, but I knew it wasn’t going to be much of an issue for us. I think we just came in too confident.” Mary Star had high hopes entering league play after eye-opening wins over San Pedro, West Torrance and Venice. But after a slow start in league, the Stars are perking up once again and are closing in on a playoff berth. Mary Star hopes to advance farther than last season, when it was sent packing after a first-round loss to Providence. “We’re getting ready for the playoffs, and we’ve got a lot of talent,” Cantor said. “We’re going to just keep getting better and better, especially in the next few years.” El Segundo 3, Centennial 0: Melanie Palmer had 20 assists and served for 18 points as El Segundo won at home, 25-12, 25-11, 25-6. Taylor Gonzalez added eight aces and Keely Stevenson had four kills on four swings for El Segundo (4-9, 3-4). In the Del Rey League … Bishop Montgomery 3, St. Joseph 0: Rachel Clark had nine kills and three blocks and Kelly Omatsu had eight kills and four digs to lead Bishop Montgomery to a 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 victory at St Joseph. Sarah Prather added seven kills and four digs for Bishop Montgomery (19-6, 6-0) which clinched a tie for the league title. St. Joseph is 18-8, 4-2. In the Harbor League … Rolling Hills Prep 3, Ribet Academy 0: Cathy Leung had seven kills for host Rolling Hills Prep in a 25-13, 25-19, 25-16 win. Kaloni Sam added four aces and six digs for Rolling Hills Prep (7-3, 6-1), which is currently in first place in league. In a nonleague match … St. Bernard 3, Vasquez 0: Ashley Thompson had 10 kills and three aces as host St. Bernard won, 25-12, 25-14, 25-15. Whitley Robinson had six kills, eight digs and seven aces for St. Bernard (8-11).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From staff reports In the Pioneer League … South Torrance 3, Torrance 0: Shannon Roberts had 12 kills and no errors along with eight digs and two aces in a 25-14, 25-13, 25-10 win at South. Jackie Landers had eight kills and three blocks. Kiley Tamblyn had 11 digs and three aces for South (21-8, 6-1). Torrance fell to 4-3 in league. North Torrance 3, Lawndale 0: Kristen McNeese recorded eight kills and Amanda Smith had four kills and two blocks in a 25-12, 25-14, 25-12 win at Lawndale. Christine Bell added 11 digs and six aces for North (18-3, 7-0). Bryana Kekauhoa led Lawndale (8-6, 1-6) with nine kills, and Kailey Campos added eight. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. Mary Star recovered from a sluggish opening game and took the inside track to a CIF Southern Section girls volleyball playoff berth. The Stars rallied for a 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 Camino Real League victory Tuesday at Serra, moving into third place and tightening their grip on the league’s third and final automatic playoff berth. “We were a little off at the start, but we knew if we lost, we were not going to make the playoffs, and our girls came back strongly,” Mary Star coach Cesar Cantor said. While many high school teams canceled their matches Tuesday due to the conditions caused by the wildfires, Mary Star and Serra tried to play through it. Cantor said it took a bit of an adjustment period at the beginning for the Stars.