Breakers are title material

Laguna Beach sweeps Westlake to capture CIF Southern Section Division II crown, program's first since 1983.

May 28, 2010|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna Beach Head Coach Lance Stewart holds up the championship plaque after Saturday's CIF-SS Division II Volleyball Championship at Cypress College.
Laguna Beach Head Coach Lance Stewart holds up the championship… (Mark Dustin )

In a span of 1 hour, 13 minutes Saturday, the Laguna Beach boys' volleyball team bridged the gap between the present and past.

In the process, the Breakers quenched a long drought for the program.

They did it with several members of the program's storied past and present at Cypress College.

Seventy-three minutes after first serve of the CIF Southern Section Division II championship match, the Breakers put the finishing touches on a surprising sweep of defending-champion Westlake, winning 25-19, 25-23, 25-22. The triumph gave the school its first CIF Southern Section title since 1983.

Twenty-seven years of title futility — years in which the school repeatedly put outstanding teams on the court and made deep postseason runs, only to fall short of the ultimate prize — was swept away.

Laguna Beach thus became a CIF boys' volleyball champion for the sixth time in school history.

The school won its first boys' title in 1975 and its second two years later, both under Coach Mike Duncan. Laguna then had a dominating, three-year CIF run (1981-83) under Coach Bill Ashen that led to its next three section championships.


Senior Travis Woloson was relishing the moment court side Saturday, shortly after the trophy presentation. He said he was in the moment, despite having to head home to get ready for the school's prom that night.

"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"

Winning a section championship was one of two main goals the Breakers had set for themselves at the season's outset. The second? To capture a Southern California regional division title.

The first step toward that goal came Thursday when the Breakers opened the CIF Southern California Regional Championships at home against Arrowhead Christian.

The score wasn't available at press time. The winner of that game plays for the Division III championship at 3 p.m. Saturday at Irvine Valley College.

"We have another goal left," 6-foot-4 senior middle blocker Reed Thompson said. "It's a great feeling to win CIF, but we know our season isn't over. We're focused now on the regional tournament. I think we'd be the only boys' team in Laguna Beach history to win both."

Thompson, one of three senior starters — the others are Woloson and Scottie Chapel, said team chemistry was the underlying factor in the team's success this year.

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