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LBHS Boys Volleyball Seeded No. 2 to Defend CIF Title

This year’s varsity super-heroes in the 28th annual alumni match last Friday, prep for the CIF playoffs. The youngsters prevailed for the third straight season. In traditional alumni-match uniforms, from left, Weston Barnes, Collin Cooper, Ethan Morris, Caden Robinson, Troy Donenfeld, Alek Burk, Duross O’Bryan, Colin Cooper, Steven Bell, Robbie McKnight, Jack Winn, Alex Bekken, Maxx McCarter, Austin Hillemann, Tyler Kesler. Photo by Bill Darnall

As expected, the Breakers (17-10, 10-0) and their long time nemesis, Corona del Mar (25-4) are the two top seeds for this year’s Division II CIF Southern Section playoffs that started this past week. Laguna faced the winner of the Arroyo Grande (17-9) and Littlerock (15-2) match yesterday and should they prevail, go on to the quarterfinals Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. If the seeding holds, Laguna could face either Irvine or El Toro tomorrow with the winner advancing to probably face third ranked Valencia in the semifinals on Tuesday, May 17.

A win yesterday would mark the 15th consecutive year the Breakers advance to at least the quarterfinal match. Overall, Breakers have made it to quarters 30 times, semis 18 times, and the finals nine times.  The Sea Kings and the Breakers each possess six titles, matching D-I school Mira Costa for titles. Loyola leads all South Section schools with 11 crowns.

Breakers lost to Valencia in the playoffs in 2003, 2005, and 2006 with all matches played in 100-degree heat (indoors) at Valencia.

Finals will be Saturday, May 21, at Cypress College.  A match up with CdM would mark the eighth time in playoff history the two schools have met but this would be the first finals. Laguna leads the all-time best of five set match history at 29-22.

The alumni squad, from left, Ben Dwyer ’02, Wilson Knapp ’09, Brad Fair ’07, Dave Sorrels ’64, trainer Ron Holladay, Andrew Chapel ’05, Lance Stewart ’81, Wyatt Strateman ’01, Reed Thompson ’10, Trey Chapel ’04, Nick Aronoff ’03, Chris Hoffman ’05, Seth Morris ’09, Travis Woloson ’10.

State regional playoffs begin May 24. Breakers need to reach the section semifinals to qualify for the enrollment-based state tournament. Laguna is the two-time defending state regional D-III champions. Finals are set for Saturday, May 28, at Irvine Valley College.

Results and schedules can be found at www.CIFSS.org.

Last week Laguna closed out the regular season with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-10 sweep of third place Saddleback at the Roadrunner gym. Robbie McKnight pounded out 19 kills followed by Colin Ceithaml with eight kills and three blocks. Troy Donenfeld had some long serving runs, recording four aces, and defensively had 14 digs to lead all players. Breaker’s JV and frosh-soph squads swept their league opponents capturing their fifth straight league titles.

On Friday, the Breakers hosted the 28th annual alumni match at Dugger Gym. The large crowd was entertained with the USC song girls and some exciting volleyball. The varsity held off the visitors 25-20 and 25-16 before the alumni won 15-11.

Travis Woloson and Nick Aronoff led the alumni team with all-CIF setters Lance Stewart and Ben Dwyer directing the team. Chris Hoffman, Trey Chapel, Andrew Chapel, and Reed Thompson were part of the winning combination.

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