Breakers end 27-year CIF title drought

Laguna Beach boys' volleyball team captures CIF Southern Section Division II championship, its first CIF crown since 1983.

May 23, 2010|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball coach Lance Stewart holds up the championship plaque after the Breakers won the CIF Southern Section Division II title, their first CIF crown since 1983.
Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball coach Lance…

CYPRESS - Lance Stewart stood at mid-court early Saturday evening, a bit misty-eyed.

He had just watched his Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball team complete in 1 hour, 13 minutes, what no Laguna team had done in the last 27 years - win a CIF Southern Section championship.

The Breakers had just put the finishing touches on a surprising sweep of defending champion Westlake at Cypress College, a 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 triumph that gave the school its first section title since 1983.

Laguna rarely trailed in the match - its biggest deficit being two points which came twice but not until the third game.

Stewart couldn't help but feel a bit emotional about the big win.

"I'm just so happy for these guys," said Stewart, who Stewart served a five-week suspension for an unspecified reason to start the season, as assistant Steve Astor was the head man early on. "They put up with a lot of stuff at the beginning of the year, stuff they shouldn't have had to. But these are good kids who worked hard and played hard for one another. It's pure joy to see them win this."


As soon as Laguna had wrapped up the sixth CIF title in the sport in school history, senior setter Travis Woloson gave Stewart a bear hug, lifted him off the ground and gave him a quick spin around. Soon, the rest of the Breakers joined in to create a massive hug on Stewart.

"These kids are amazing and such a good group," Stewart said. "They have been a true pleasure to coach."

Woloson was relishing the moment before he headed home and got ready to go to the school's prom.

"This is awesome but a little surreal," he said, as he clutched the CIF championship plaque tightly under his right arm. "I thought we played well but I thought it'd be a lot closer than it was. We took it to them early."

Laguna established control of the match early in Game 1, and Westlake never really recovered.

The Breakers used several 4-0 runs in the first game, the first of which broke a 4-4 tie and was capped by a kill by senior outside hitter Scottie Chapel. The second, also ended by Chapel, this time, on a service ace, increased the lead to 14-7. Chapel's second ace of the game capped the final 4-0 run and Laguna got the win on a Westlake violation at the net.

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