PREP ROUNDUP : Fountain Valley Sweeps El Toro Thanks to Ratledge

Led by strong play on offense and defense, Fountain Valley defeated El Toro, 15-10, 15-13, 16-14, in a nonleague boys' volleyball match Monday night at Fountain Valley High.

Senior outside hitters Ed Ratledge (15 kills, seven aces) and Chris Kosty (13 kills) led the Barons (2-1), who returned all six starters from last season's squad.

"We played kind of up and down today," second-year Coach Lori Biller said of her team's performance. "We wanted, however, to sweep El Toro and we did today. They played a good game. We have always respected El Toro."

In Game 1, the score was tied 6-6, before the Barons scored six straight points to take the lead for good. El Toro (3-2) cut the lead to 13-10, before Fountain Valley, led by Ratledge's five kills, won it.

In Game 2, tough jump-serves by the 6-foot-8 Ratledge gave the Barons a 9-4 lead, before El Toro, a Southern Section Division I semifinalist last season, chipped away at the Baron lead. In fact, the Chargers took a 12-11 lead when Steve Hilbert blocked Ratledge. After tying the score, the Barons won the game on a Sean Callahan block of Phil Domingo and an El Toro mistake.

The Chargers, led by Matt Mauney's 10 kills, took the lead early and held it for most of game three. With El Toro leading, 14-12, Fountain Valley's Kurt Seekington had two blocks in a row, tying the score, 14-14. A setting mistake by El Toro gave the lead back to Fountain Valley and a kill by Domingo ended it.

"We were on our heels and fell behind in that third game," Biller said. "We did a good job pulling that last game out."

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