Breakers Advance to CIF Semi’s for the 21st time – Qualify for State
Laguna opened their 42nd straight trip to the playoffs seeded fourth in Division 2 last week and the four top seeds held and faced off this past Wednesday, May 20, in the semifinals. Breakers hosted No. 1 Oak Park (31-5) while Burroughs/Burbank (30-3) was traveling to Valencia/Valencia (31-6). The winners will advance to the finals to be held Saturday, May 23, 4:30 p.m. at Cerritos College. Admission will be $12; under 14, $5; and parking is $5.
Last week Laguna traveled to Lakewood on Thursday, May 14, in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal contest. The Lancers, Moore League champions (21-5) kept pace early on, but Laguna pulled away behind the serving of Isaac Wulff and the five kills and three blocks by Tyler Alter to take set one 25-19. Laguna cruised in the second set 25-12, but had their hands full after that as the Lancers took set three 26-24 engaging their crowd. Laguna struggled to shake their hosts in set four, but at 13-13 Pete Obradovich rolled off three straight kills allowing Laguna to take control and cruise to victory 25-19.
This past Saturday, May 16, Laguna hosted the Sea View League champions, Aliso Niguel (28-5), the fifth seed before a large crowd at Dugger Gym. The Wolverines rallied in set one to edge the hosts 28-26 in set one, but Laguna came back to torch the visitors 25-14 in set two. Breakers led nearly wire to wire in the third set winning 25-22. Laguna was sloppy early in the fourth set trailing 6-3 before stepping up their play, taking a 9-8 lead and never looking back. Dane Olson led with 24 kills and four solo blocks, Pete Obradovich added 19 kills and a solo block and Tyler Alter 10 kills, a solo and three block assists in the win. Cole Paxson was at his best as the libero with 17 digs and some very strong serving runs.
The victory qualified Laguna for the state CIF regional playoffs that will be announced on Sunday evening at www.cifstate.org. Breakers should host on Tuesday and Thursday, May 26 and 28, with the finals on Saturday, May 30, 3 p.m. at Cerritos College. Expect a vastly improved Saddleback Valley Christian poised to deny Laguna’s chance for a fifth title.