High School Roundup: Laguna nearly pulls off upset of San Clemente

An early season battle between two highly ranked prep boys' volleyball teams from different divisions took place Wednesday in San Clemente that needed five sets to decide a winner.

Laguna Beach, the third-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 2, had San Clemente, the top-ranked team in Division 1, on the ropes during the nonleague match, but the host Tritons were able to pull out a 25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 17-15 victory.

It was the first loss of the season for the Breakers (2-1), who had previously defeated two other Division 1 teams, Edison and Newport Harbor.

San Clemente (10-0) last weekend won the Best of the West Tournament at Poway.

Senior Weston Barnes led Laguna with 25 kills and senior setter Grifan Fair had 50 assists for Laguna, which had taken a 12-10 lead in the fifth set on a kill by junior middle blocker Noah Blanton (nine kills). Senior opposite Jackson Pries had 12 kills.

The Breakers are competing this weekend at the 40th Orange Coast Championships hosted by Edison High. The tournament starts Friday, continues Saturday and concludes Monday.

Hosts Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Marina are among 32 teams competing in the three-day tournament, which continues Saturday and concludes with championship-round action Monday. The teams will be split into divisions 1 and 2, with matches a best-of-five set format.

In addition to Laguna, other teams set to compete at the tournament are: Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Marina, Beckman, Canyon, Corona del Mar, Claremont, Dana Hills, El Dorado, El Toro, Esperanza, Foothill, Francis Parker, JSerra, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Lakewood, Los Alamitos, Mater Dei, Mission Viejo, Newport Harbor, Northwood, Orange Lutheran, Sage Hill, San Clemente, San Juan Hills, Santa Margarita, Servite, Tesoro, Woodbridge and Yorba Linda.

The Breakers next week play host to Corona del Mar in a nonleague match at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday. The reigning Orange Coast League champions start their league slate Thursday with a 5:30 p.m. home match against Saddleback.


Boys' Tennis

The Breakers began their Orange Coast League title defense Tuesday with a 16-2 victory over visiting Saddleback.

In a nonleague match March 7 against Newport Harbor, Laguna, playing without No. 1 singles player Teague Hamilton (injury), fell, 13-5 to the visiting Sailors. Morgan Lebby took over the No. 1 singles slot for the Breakers and recorded a win. The doubles teams of No. 2 Noah Radach and Alex Doung, and No. 3 Matt Meisberg and Jared Boetes also picked up wins.

Laguna plays a 3 p.m. nonleague match Tuesday at Dana Hills. The Breakers return to league play Thursday for a 3 p.m. match against Godinez at Santa Ana Valley High.


Boys' Golf

The Breakers traveled Tuesday to Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley for a match against Calvary Chapel, and fell, 209-226, to the host Eagles. Mitchell Wills was the low scorer for the Breakers at 44.

In a nonleague match Monday against Sage Hill at Ben Brown Golf Course, Troy Sullivan and John Grayden both shot 37 and the Breakers edged the Lightning, 199-201.

Laguna, 2-5 overall, plays host to Calvary Chapel at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Aliso Viejo Country Club. On Thursday, the Breakers go to Mesa Verde Golf Course in Costa Mesa to take on Estancia.

"We have a young team with a lot of talent," Laguna Coach Scott Finn said. "Our hope is that each individual can continue to improve as we enter into league play next week.


CIF Weekly Rankings (week of March 11)

Boys' volleyball: Laguna, No. 3, Division 2


Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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