Last May, Granada Hills High eliminated Venice with an emotional victory in the City section 4-A boys’ volleyball quarterfinals.
Much has changed since then.
Granada Hills graduated four key players, and standout Mike Whitmore transferred to Kennedy.
And on Wednesday, the Highlanders also lost a nonleague rematch with Venice, 15-8, 15-7, 15-8.
“I don’t know if we took them easily or not, but we just weren’t focused,” said outside hitter Ryan Kamins. “I don’t think we’re as bad as the score shows.”
Most would agree, but this day belonged to Venice.
Cousins Greg and Pat Lennon dismantled the Highlanders’ defense. Greg had 19 kills and Pat added 12.
Irving Chen had seven for Granada Hills.
“Last year, they kicked our butt in the quarterfinals so we came in wanting to win,” said Allen Hunt, Venice coach. “I didn’t think we’d win three straight games.”
Venice probably could have won more than that.
The Gondoliers (3-0) had few problems offensively and, except for nine blocks by the Highlanders’ Adam Fernandez, rarely met resistance at the net.
The Highlanders (2-1) had trouble attacking and serving, and found the net more often than the other side of the floor.
Granada Hills begins conference play Tuesday against Kennedy.
“I’ve been telling the guys we need to improve,” Coach Tom Harp said. “We’re going to have to see how we respond to this loss.”