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Eagles earn first win

COSTA MESA — Every time Coach Paul Muñoz called in his Estancia High boys’ volleyball match, the result was the same.

It grew tiring for Muñoz to say his team had lost yet again.

Muñoz on Tuesday did not have to pick up his phone and say Estancia lost. The Eagles became winners for the first time this season.

They won at home and against their cross-town rival, Costa Mesa. The Eagles needed just three sets to end a 0-11 start to the season, sweeping the Mustangs, 25-16, 25-16, 25-21.


The one team that still has not prevailed this season is Costa Mesa. In the first meeting between the two winless schools in Orange Coast League play, someone had to win.

“Good,” Muñoz said is how he felt about Estancia snapping a losing streak and improving to 1-5 in league. “It feels really good.”

The Mustangs felt the opposite of good. They dropped to 0-12, 0-6 in league. They saw their setter drop to the floor first.

Justin Murata crashed after a teammate kneed him in the back of the head in the opening set. The senior left the match with Costa Mesa behind, 10-5, and never returned.


Costa Mesa first-year coach Sam Cornell called it a freak accident, even though he said Murata suffered the same head injury in the previous match.

“It’s not a situation that we’re not used to,” Cornell said.

The losing is something that Costa Mesa is used to this season.

The Mustangs never challenged Estancia in the first two sets. Playing without their starting setter did not help their cause.

Only when Cost Mesa was in a do-or-die situation in the third set did it fight back. The Mustangs began to return the Eagles’ serve after allowing 17 aces in the first two sets combined.

Estancia appeared on its way to an easy sweep when Kyle Treiger recorded his fifth ace, which dropped near the backline. The Eagles took a 22-17 lead, but Noah JeyaRajah brought the Mustangs closer.

The middle blocker hammered a crosscourt kill, bringing Costa Mesa within two points. JeyaRajah and his teammates began stomping on the court, only to see unforced errors allow Estancia to stamp its first victory of the season.

“It’s an amazing feeling to get one [win] after all those losses,” said senior outside hitter Charlie Umansky, who led Estancia with eight kills. “Mesa is always a big game for us. We always … come out stronger when it’s Mesa. We just need to do that every game.


“Hope we keep the momentum. We still got four more games in league left. There’s a chance at [making the] CIF [Southern Section Division II playoffs if we win out].”