The matches against top-flight Division I schools are in the rear-view mirror and the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs are still weeks away.
But, although the rest of the Orange Coast League season may not be especially challenging for the Laguna Beach High boys’ volleyball team, the Breakers did take a big step toward another league title by sweeping host Calvary Chapel, 25-16, 25-11 and 25-22 on March 26.
The Eagles are generally considered the toughest competition in league for Laguna Beach. Senior outside hitter Cooper Gwaltney, for one, can remember when Calvary stunned Laguna in five games last season, the only blemish on the Breakers’ league record.
Laguna Beach (14-5, 3-0), the top-ranked team in Division II, doesn’t want a repeat occurrence this season, and a sweep also helps.
“I’d say a lot of it was due to our great setting, and we handled the serve-receive really well," said Gwaltney, who led the Breakers with 19 kills. “We executed on plays we needed to execute on. We lost to them last year, and we were pretty fired up. We said we weren’t going to lose this match no matter what."
Scott Chapel added nine kills and 10 digs for the Breakers, who were led in the latter category by Harrison Phelps’ 10. Robbie McKnight added 17 assists.
The Breakers have now won 14 of 15 best-of-five matches against Calvary.
Laguna played visiting Estancia on Thursday, and has no more matches until April 21 at Costa Mesa. The Mustangs have also started 3-0 in Orange Coast League play, including their own win over Calvary Chapel.
Laguna eased to victories on both the boys’ and girls’ sides in its Orange Coast League-opening tri-meet against Calvary Chapel and Godinez on Wednesday.
The Breakers boys topped Calvary, 99-9, and got past Godinez, 101-58. Laguna’s girls blanked Calvary, 120-0, and topped Godinez, 117-48.
“We have been working really hard in practice and I’m really excited about how fast we’re swimming for where we’re at in the season," Coach Kari Johnson said.
Several of the girls’ swimmers racked up CIF Southern Section Division III automatic times, including the 200-yard medley relay team of Annika Dries, Andrea Reigel, Chelsea Wild and Yoshi Andersen (1 minute, 57.16 seconds). Wild’s first-place times of 1:57.99 in the 200 freestyle and 1:00.83 in the 100 butterfly were also automatic times, as were Reigel’s winning marks of 2:10.16 in the 200 individual medley and 53.98 in the 100 free.
Taylor Dodson won the 50 free in 26.92 seconds and Dries won the 100 backstroke in 1:05.30. The 400 free relay time of 3:51.10 by Dries, Wild, Dodson and Reigel was also a CIF automatic mark.
For the Breakers boys, Robert Chew won the 200 free in 2:04.67 and was second in the 100 fly (1:02.82) to Billy Wild, who swam it in a season-best, CIF automatic time of 56.62 seconds.
Nolan McConnell won the 50 free (24.73) and Nile Koegel was second in both that event (25.03) and the 100 free (53.65).
The Breakers host Sage Hill today.
TRACK AND FIELD
Laguna Beach swept Calvary Chapel on March 26, with the boys scoring an 89-38 win and the girls winning, 100-23. Both teams improved to 2-0 in league meets this season.
Individual winners for the Breakers boys included Brett Linkletter in the long jump (20 feet, 11) and triple jump (43-2), and Andre Parker in the high jump (5-10). Louis O’Campo won the discus (132-7), as did Mitch McMullin in the shot put (43-3). Sean Pigden won the 400 meters in 52.34 seconds and Matt Neev took the 1,600 in 4:34.53.
Alex Ronses won the 300 hurdles (53.15), Norton Penney won the 200 in 23.88 and Casey Finnerty took the 3,200 (10:35).
For the Breakers girls, Holden Penney was a three-time winner in the 100 meters (13.06), 200 (26.11) and the long jump (15-2). Maddie Barton won both the 110 and 300 hurdles in 18.28 and 52.78, respectively. Sam Gardner was another two-event winner, in the discus (81-11) and shot put (26-6).
Other winners included Kativa Strickland in the 800 (2:37.22), Natasha Strickland in the 1,600 (5:55.62) and Margot Rackard in the 3,200 (13.26). Shannon Thomas won the triple jump (28-1) and Lauren Thomas won the high jump (4-10).
Laguna is scheduled to compete in the Trabuco Hills Invitational beginning today.
Laguna defeated Calvary Chapel, 14-4, on March 26 to improve to 2-0 in league. The Breakers swept in doubles, anchored by Rex Miller and Mikey Rubel at No. 1 doubles (6-0, 6-1, 6-0). Chris Lavery and Benito Romeo each won two of three singles sets.
The Breakers then fell to Dana Hills, 15-3, in a nonleague match Monday.
Miller and Rubel won two doubles sets and Lavery secured the only singles victory.
The Breakers had a perfect week. They topped Calvary Chapel in an Orange Coast League match, 197-222, on March 26, then got past Ocean View, 187-232, on Monday.
The team also picked up a forfeit win over Westminster Tuesday.
Andrew Palmer led the Breakers with a two-under round of 34 against Calvary Chapel and Duane Hewlett shot a four-under round of 32 against Ocean View. That round included two birdies and an eagle.
Laguna (6-2-1, 5-1) was at Costa Mesa on Thursday, then is of until April 20 against Ocean View.
Pitching continues to be strong for the Laguna Beach High baseball team, which blanked Estancia, 8-0, in an Orange Coast League game on Tuesday. Senior Bret Barrett went the distance for the Breakers, allowing just two hits and striking out six.
Sophomore Chris Paul hit his second home run of the season and senior Jake Sganga added his first.
Coach Jeff Sears said senior Gabe Stansbury also nearly hit one out.
“We’re having a plan as we go to the plate," Sears said. “That’s a big thing, having a plan and executing that plan."
In a nonleague doubleheader from Saturday, the Breakers fell at Ramona of Riverside, 7-6, before winning the second game, 8-6.
Laguna (7-4, 3-0) had a big game at Costa Mesa at Thursday, as the Mustangs are also 3-0 in league. The game occurred after press time, but check out www.coastlinepilot.com for the full story.