This one was sweet for the Laguna Beach High boys’ volleyball team.
In a week that had them going up against top-notch competition, which included playing six matches in eight days, the Breakers took on longtime rival Corona del Mar in nonleague play Wednesday at Dugger Gym. In what Coach Scott Panaro said was a inspired team effort, the Breakers took a sweep from the Sea Kings.
Laguna’s 25-20, 25-15, 25-19 victory gave the Breakers their first win against Corona del Mar since 2008. Two weeks ago, Laguna swept Newport Harbor ((27-25, 26-24, 25-17) on the road on March 6. That win marked the first time since 1997 that Laguna had defeated the Sailors in a best-of-five match.
With Wednesday’s win, Laguna defeated both the Sea Kings and Sailors in a best-of-five match in the same season for the first time since 1990, and swept (3-0) both rivals for the first time since 1982.
The Breakers entered the match ranked second in CIF Southern Section Division 2. The Sea Kings were No. 10 in Division 1.
Laguna (5-3) now leads the series with Corona del Mar, which started in 1974, 30-23.
“I thought this was a really great team performance,” Laguna Coach Scott Panaro said of Wednesday’s win. “We had a lot of guys contributing and our setter [Grifan Fair] was able to distribute the ball to all our hitters and got everyone involved. We did a nice job serving and with our passing game, and our kills distribution also was very good.”
Fair, a senior, finished with 32 assists and had two kills. Senior outside hitter Weston Barnes led in kills with 11, senior opposite Jackson Pries had nine kills, junior middle blocker Noah Blanton eight kills, junior outside hitter Jack Wyett seven kills, and senior middle blocker Maxx McCarter four kills.
“This [win] was really a big deal for our seniors,” Panaro said. “This is something they really wanted, and they earned it.”
The Breakers competed last weekend at the Orange County Championships where they posted a 2-2 record and finished in sixth place in the Division 1 bracket. They swept (3-0) Servite in the first round, were swept by Mater Dei, beat Edison in five sets and fell in five sets to Esperanza.
“The tournament was good learning experience for us,” Panaro said. “We kind of figured out how to work together as a team, how to keep everybody involved including our bench guys. It’s important to have a good, steady flow of energy all the way through out lineup.”
Laguna started Orange Coast League play Thursday against Saddleback. The score wasn’t available at press time. Next week, the defending league champs play a 4:30 p.m. game on Tuesday at Estancia, and play host to Calvary Chapel at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Track and Field
It is said that records are meant to be broken. This one is being obliterated.
For the third time in 11 days, a new school record was set in the boys’ 400-meter relay. This time, the quartet of Reece Barton, Robert Clemons, Nate Lancaster and Drake Martinez set the new mark with a time of 44.15 seconds at the Trophy Invitational Saturday at Laguna Beach. The previous record time in the event was 44.65 set by Barton, Spencer Anderson, Lancaster and Martinez, at the Irvine/Asics Invitational earlier this month.
The Breakers placed fifth, overall, in the 4x100 relay, which was won by Servite in 43.69.
The Laguna girls’ varsity 4x400 relay took first place in the event. The team of Janie Crawford, Natalie Kimball, Johana Abarca and Brielle Budroe won in 4 minutes, 8 seconds.
The Laguna varsity boys finished 12th, overall, in 17 events scored. Orange Lutheran captured first place. The Laguna frosh/soph boys’ team were 13th with Servite winning the division (16 events scored).
The Laguna varsity girls finished ninth with Dana Hills taking the division. The Laguna frosh/soph girls’ team came in 12th, and Dana Hills also won the division.
The Breakers competed against Costa Mesa Thursday. The scores from the Orange Coast League opener weren’t available at press time.
Laguna will compete at 3 p.m. March 28 at Estancia.
The Breakers dominated in their Orange Coast League opener Mach 12 against Saddleback and scored a 16-2 win over the visiting Roadrunners. They did so despite playing without their No. 1 and 2 singles players, Teague Hamilton and Morgan Lebby.
In singles play, Jeff Spitz swept his sets (7-5, 7-6. 6-2) and both Matthew Meisberger (4-6, 6-3, 6-1) and Noah Raddach (0-6, 6-0, 6-2) won two of their sets. All three Laguna doubles teams swept: No. 1 Ryan Gee/Oliver Nasiell (6-1, 6-1, 6-0), No. 2 Owen Weber/Alex Duong (6-2, 6-0, 6-0), and No. 3 Jared Boetes/Tim Nguyen (6-0,6-0,6-0).
Lebby returned to the singles lineup for Laguna’s next match and the Breakers went to 2-0 in league by defeating host Estancia, 11-7, on March 14. Lebby swept his matches at No. 1 singles (6-0, 6-0, 6-1). The other wins for Laguna came from sweeps in doubles from Gee/Oliver Nasiell (6-4, 6-3, 6-0) and Weber/Duong (6-4, 6-1, 6-3), and Meisberger/Nguyen, who won two of three (1-6, 6-4, 6-2).
Hamilton didn’t play due to injury.
Laguna played a league match Thursday against Godinez. The score from that match wasn’t available at press time. The Breakers play three roads matches next week. On Tuesday, they visit Costa Mesa, Wednesday play a nonleague match against Whitney at the Cerritos Sports Complex, and return to league play Thursday against Saddleback.
Mitch Wills shot a team-low nine-over-par 44 for the Breakers, who were defeated by Calvary Chapel, 219-227, in an Orange Coast League match Tuesday at Aliso Viejo Country Club.
The teams met in an OCL opener on March 12. Calvary Chapel also won that match, 209-226, at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.
Laguna, 2-7 overall, took on Estancia in a league match Thursday. The score wasn’t available at press time. The Breakers play two league matches next week beginning with a Tuesday match against Costa Mesa. They’ll face Calvary Chapel on Wednesday. Both matches start at 2:30 p.m. at Aliso Creek Golf Course (Ben Brown) in Laguna Beach.