They had an easy run through the Orange Coast League, and now the Laguna Beach Breakers are primed for a run in the final portion of the season with tonight’s start of the CIF-Southern Section Division II boys’ volleyball season.
Laguna, champion of the Orange Coast League, hosts Paloma Valley at 7:30 p.m. at Dugger Gymnasium.
Other than being aware that they finished third in the Sunbelt League, Laguna Coach Lance Stewart knows little of the Wildcats of the Menifee-based school.
“I do know that they will put six guys on the court, three on the front row and three on the back row,” Stewart said with a chuckle. “No, they’re a mystery to us.
“But we’re only worried about ourselves. We just have to go out and continue doing what we’ve been doing lately, only take things up a notch.”
The Breakers ride into the postseason having won 27 straight games in an undefeated jaunt through league play. Stewart is confident in his team heading into CIF but knows that the competition will heat up.
“I’ve been saying, telling anybody who’d listen, that our guys have been playing really, really good volleyball,” he said. “They just beat a pretty good alumni team in three-straight last Friday night.
“We coasted in league, but in CIF we’re going to have to fight longer and harder. The ball is going to be coming back to us more frequently as the competition heats up.
“But as I said, we are playing steady and with a lot of confidence. Our guys are ready to go out and play that first match.”
A victory tonight advances the Breakers to a second-round match Tuesday.
Laguna qualified for the CIF-SS playoffs for the 34th consecutive year. By winning the Orange Coast League championship, the program claimed its 21st league title in its 36-year history.
The Breakers wrapped up an undefeated league season on May 2 with a 25-10, 25-16, 25-21 home sweep of Calvary Chapel. Lorenzo Torriento had 10 kills, Shawn Merz four aces and Clay Knapp 33 assists for Laguna.
In other volleyball news
Laguna’s frosh/soph team won the Orange County Frosh-Soph Championships held Saturday at Edison High. The tournament included several traditionally-strong county programs. The Breakers, who won 26 matches and lost just four during the season, defeated Newport Harbor and others Corona del Mar in the final.