Boys volleyball scouting report (4/17/13)
The top 10 hasn’t shifted too much over spring break. San Clemente survived a tough five-set match against league rivals Dana Hills, Mira Costa rallied to come back after being down two sets to Loyola and Huntington Beach won the Kamehameha Cup in Hawaii.
This week top ten teams Mira Costa, Esperanza, Corona del Mar and several other top teams from the Southern and Northern Section will head north to the Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions in Santa Barbara. If seeds hold Mira Costa and Esperanza should meet in the final, which would stage a rematch from lat year where the Aztecs took the wind out of the Mustangs' sails, beating them in three.
The Redondo/Mira Costa Varsity Classic will provide a epic stage where top ten teams will meet before playoffs begin. San Clemente, Mira Costa, Loyola, Palos Verdes, Esperanza, Redondo Union and teams on the bubble like La Costa Canyon, Oak Park, Otay Ranch and Valencia will all have the opportunity to make it in to the top ten.
1. San Clemente (20-0)
The Tritons are still in the top spot after a tight five-set win over Dana Hills and a win over Capistrano Valley. They took last week off for spring break and will face Aliso Niguel and Tesoro this week. The Tritons have some league matches next week and then will have another opportunity to face Mira Costa and Loyola at the Redondo Mira Costa Varsity Classic next weekend to validate in their wins at the beginning of the season and prove they are actually the better team.
2. Mira Costa (14-2)
The Mustangs had a busy spring break last week and faced some tough competition. The Mustangs traveled to Hawaii and beat Kamehameha in four, but went on to lose to Punahou in four. Last week they beat Palos Verdes in four and came from being behind two sets to beat Loyola in five, 24-26, 18-25, 25-16, 25-22, 15-11 in a epic match. Senior opposite hitter and Long Beach State commit Scott Stephanoff led the way with 14 kills and junior middle blocker Connor Inlow came up big in the fifth set with three straight kills to take the lead after 10-10, finishing with 10 kills and four blocks. Costa will travel to the Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions in Santa Barbara this weekend where they lost last year to Esperanza in the final.
3. Loyola (17-2)
The Cubs took care of Notre Dame and Chaminade easily in three but hit a roadblock when they met up with Mira Costa last week. The rivals squared off on neutral ground at Loyola Marymount University and led 26-24, 25-18 in the first two sets. Mira Costa rallied for the comeback in set three, 25-16, and got the momentum to shift their way. Senior opposite hitter and UCLA commit Jackson Bantle posted 13 kills and four aces and senior middle blocker and Ohio State commit Garret Mohr added 10 kills in the effort.
4. Palos Verdes (20-2)
The Sea Kings had a big match against Bay league rival Mira Costa last week but lost in four. They will play Redondo Union again this week and will be at the Redondo Power Classic in two weeks with San Clemente, Costa and Loyola.
5. Huntington Beach (21-2)
The Oilers had a great run at the Kamehameha School Cup going 6-0 and winning their second consecutive title on the island. They beat Kamehameha Kapalama, 25-19, 20-25, 25-14 in the final after they beat Kamehameha Big Island, Kaiser, Highland (Arizona) and Bellflower St. John Bosco in the semis. They play Fountain Valley and Marina this week.
6. Dana Hills (19-4)
The Dolphins have had a week off for spring break. The week prior they had a battle with San Clemente where they took them to five. They will get another shot at San Clemente next weekend to determine who is the No. 1 team in the South Coast league.
7. Esperanza (13-2)
The Aztecs also had a week off for spring break and will have two league matches this week before they head north to Santa Barbara for the Karch Kiraly Tournaments of Champions. The Aztecs are looking to defend their title from last year where they beat Mira Costa in the final, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23. Junior opposite and UCLA commit Jake Arnitz was named MVP and will be their go-to this weekend.
8. Redondo Union (7-6)
The Seahawks beat Peninsula and will get another shot at Palos Verdes next week. They will host the top teams in the Southern Section at the Redondo Power Classic in two weeks a good opportunity to see if they have improved since the beginning of season.
9. Corona del Mar (13-7)
The Sea Kings are in a rebuilding year but have had a recent streak of consistency with wins over Beckman, Northwood and University. They head to the Santa Barbara Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions this weekend to test their improvement against a tough field.
10. St. John Bosco (17-8)
The Braves have earned a spot in the top ten with a good performance at the Kamehameha School Cup, beating Hawaii Baptist but losing to Huntington Beach. Senior outside/setter Joey Pillion and junior opposite Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, who is a standout defensive end on the football team, are anchors for the Braves.