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Boys' Volleyball: Breakers clinch title

Laguna Beach earns Orange Coast League championship after sweeping Calvary Chapel, improving to 8-0 in league.

April 25, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

It wasn't easy, but the Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball team was able to earn a share of the Orange Coast League championship Tuesday.

The Breakers repeated as OCL champs by virtue of a 26-24, 25-22, 25-19 victory over host Calvary Chapel. The win gave the Breakers a three-match lead on the Eagles with two league matches remaining.

Laguna, ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, is now 8-0 in league and 15-7 overall.

Calvary Chapel pushed Laguna to the limit in the first two sets Tuesday.

"That was by far the toughest league match I have experienced in my two years as head coach," Laguna Coach Scott Panaro said. "Give Calvary a lot of credit. It was their senior game and they drew a really good crowd and played fired up. We didn't come to play with as much intensity as they did.

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"Our goal was to win the league championship this year, and the guys accomplished that goal. It's nice to be able to wrap up the title with two [league matches] left to play."

Laguna, which played the first set and much of the second set without starting setter Grifan Fair, fought back to take a 26-24 first set. The comeback was led by the hitting of senior opposite Jackson Pries and senior outside hitter Weston Barnes. Pries had seven kills and Barnes six kills in the set and junior setter JP Wollam had 13 set assists.

The blocking ability of the Breakers keyed their 25-22 win in the second set. A two-handed drop by junior middle blocker Noah Blanton put Laguna up, 20-17, but Calvary Chapel wouldn't go away and drew even at 20-20 on a kill by Nathan Rodriguez. A kill by Pries was sandwiched between serving and hitting errors by the Eagles, and they put the Breakers back in front at 23-20.

Another serving error by the Eagles (16-8, 5-3 in league) gave the Breakers set point and a 25-22 win.

Fair returned to play setter and finished with 12 assists in the third set, a 25-19 win in which Laguna led from start to finish.

Pries had a team-high 11 kills. Barnes and senior middle blocker Maxx McCarter had nine and eight kills, respectively. Barnes also had nine digs, Jake Hexberg had eight digs and Wollam had 22 assists.

"Jackson [Pries] was on fire down the stretch of that first game," Panaro said. "I also thought that Jake Hexberg did a great job of serving down the stretch, as well."

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