After five-game losses to Edison and Newport Harbor, the Laguna Beach High boys’ volleyball team was looking to build some momentum.
Consider that done after the Breakers won the University Tournament over the weekend, topping Division II foe Claremont, 25-18, 25-17, in the final at University High.
“It was really good for us, coming off two tough five-game matches," interim coach Steve Astor said after the Breakers topped five teams in two days at University High. “We’re trying to learn how to win, period. We were definitely the best team there, but when you’re supposed to win, it’s not always easy to win."
Senior outside hitter Scottie Chapel was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Fellow seniors Travis Woloson and Reed Thompson also made the all-tournament team.
Laguna topped Beckman in the semifinals after getting past Aliso Niguel, Hart and Laguna Hills in earlier action.
Astor said the win over Claremont was especially important for Laguna Beach, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division II poll.
Claremont is No. 6, so the Breakers showed their higher ranking was justified.
Laguna (7-2) has more challenging matches coming up. The Breakers played host to Mater Dei on Thursday and play at Corona del Mar at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. Then next weekend, they compete in the Orange County Championships.
“I think CdM is the best offensive team in the county," Astor said. “They have a lot of firepower. It’s really good that our nonleague schedule is so tough; it’s good to see how we match up against certain teams."
Wednesday’s tri-meet against Tustin and Cypress at Tustin High wasn’t scored, but Coach Kari Johnson said the Breakers had several standout performances.
Senior Robert Chew swam 1 minute 1.25 seconds in the 100 butterfly and senior Sean Mulville finished the 100 free in 51.67, with junior Spencer Dodson at 1:12.42.
On the girls’ side, Laguna finally has all its girls back after several were on the girls’ water polo team that advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II final. Three of them "” Melena Masson, Yoshi Andersen and Lexi Del Toro "” teamed with junior Taylor Capobianco for a CIF automatic time in the 400 free relay. Masson had a great meet and swam the 500 in 5:43.21 and senior Tierney Doran also had a good 500 with a time of 6:53.28.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year, but I am excited about the dynamics of our team," Johnson said. “I feel like we have enough depth to win league on both sides again this year."
The Breakers next swim at the Los Alamitos Co-Ed Relays at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Breakers have started Orange Coast League play with two wins, including a win against league rival Estancia last week. Laguna came back to top Costa Mesa, 199-258, this week, as junior Andrew Palmer was medalist with a three-over par 38.
Coach Scott Finn said his other starters are seniors Mike Cannan, Charles Hewlett, and Mike Hay, as well as sophomore Tim Peterson. Senior Clay Steel is battling sophomores Anthony Klimek and Beau Bourne for the last spot.
“We’re looking good with five of our players returning," Finn said. “You never know, but I think we’re pretty much the front-runners [in league]"
Laguna lost, 17-1, to Corona del Mar on Tuesday and hosted San Clemente on Thursday. The Breakers next travel to play Sage Hill in another nonleague match Tuesday at the Tennis Club in Newport Beach.