Boys Volleyball (22-9)
Breakers rallied to defeat top seed Saddleback Valley Christian (30-5) on Saturday, May 29, at Cerritos College, a record fifth title in seven years.
The Warriors, who extensively scouted the Breakers, are the three-time defending Division 4 section champs and had defeated Division 2 champions Oak Park. Their blemishes were a 5-set loss to South Pasadena and Santa Margarita, a narrow loss and a tie with Nor Cal’s Division 1 champion St. Francis/Mt View, and a narrow tournament loss to San Clemente.
Saddleback jumped out in the first set and never trailed, hitting a torrid .520 behind star Noah Dyer and middle Trevor O’Reilly. Breakers pulled to within two at 16-18 but no closer.
Laguna troubles continued in the second set as the Breakers fell behind 5-1 before gaining a tie at 7. Late in the set, down 23-20, Saddleback made two consecutive unforced errors as both Dyer and O’Reilly hit the ball past the end line for Laguna points.
Adam Lythgoe served and the Warriors sent the ball back on a thunder hit by Dyer that Lythgoe somehow dug out. He sent the ball to Isaac Wulff who fed Pete Obradovich for the cross court kill, tying the contest at 23 all. From that point the two teams traded side-outs until tied at 28-all. Behind the serving of Dane Olson, a Cole Paxson dig set up an Obradovich kill. Dane’s second serve was mishandled off the serve for the Laguna set win. This set featured 10 tie scores and four lead changes. Dane Olson recorded 10 kills alone.
In set three, Saddleback seemed in control after taking a 19-16 lead only to have Laguna storm back.
The final set was tied seven times to 17-17 when Adam Lythgoe came in to serve. Breakers made it 18-17 on a block by Barry Greenough of a back row attack by Dyer. Lythgoe set the school season ace record on his next serve, passing the rally scoring era mark set by Luke Morris in 2005. Laguna made it 20-17 when Adam dug another Dyer slam that Obradovich returned for a cross court kill.
Breakers extended the lead to 21-17 when Obradovich shot the ball over the Saddlback defenders for Laguna’s fifth straight point. The two teams then exchanged sideouts before Saddleback served the ball into the net giving Laguna a 23-19 lead. Greenough and Tyler Alter blocked Dyer for point 24 and the final point came off a long rally when Pete Obradovich dug the ball straight up near the back line forcing Isaac Wulff to run back for the set attempt that went perfectly cross court to a waiting Dane Olson, who drilled into the Warrior back row for the match win.
Match statistical leaders:
Kills: Olson 25, Obradovich 18, Alter 12
Blocks: Greenough 3.0, Rickhoff 2.5, Alter 2.5
Digs: Paxson 10, Obrdovich 10, Lythgoe 5
Assists: Wulff 48, Paxson 5, Olson 2, Obradovich 2
Aces: Paxson 2, Lythgoe 2
Laguna has now won all five State Regional tournaments they have played in and will return five key players for another run in 2016.
On Thursday, May 28, at Dugger Gym, Laguna advanced to the finals by holding off a good Francis Parker team from San Diego, 25-18, 25-23, 25-23. Dane Olson and Pete Obradovich each had 14 kills while Tyler Alter added 11. Laguna recorded nine locks for points.