Boys volleyball teams set for a tough run in battle for the Bay League title
by Randy Angel
Following tournament and non-league action, boys volleyball teams are preparing for a tough Bay League schedule which begins next week.
Three teams from the league are ranked in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 top ten. Mira Costa holds the No. 2 spot behind Newport Harbor with Redondo ranked next at No. 3. Palos Verdes is ranked ninth and expects an upset or two to remain in the Bay League race.
Mira Costa is coming off a third-place finish in the highly competitive Best of the West tournament in Poway last weekend.
The tournament included 12 teams ranked in the CIF-Southern Section 1 and 2 Divisions. Along with Mira Costa, the competition featured including Newport Harbor (No. 1), Loyola (No. 4), Corona de Mar (No. 5), Huntington Beach (No. 6), Palos Verdes (No. 8), Newbury Park (No. 9), Edison (No. 10), Servite (No. 13), Santa Barbara (No. 15), San Clemente (No. 16) and Santa Margarita (No. 17).
Mira Costa won Pool 4, defeating Moanalua 25-21, 25-19, Sanger 25-21, 25-22 and Servite 25-20, 25-15.
Competing in the Gold Division, the Mustangs had little trouble defeating Palos Verdes 25-11, 25-22 then beat Santa Margarita 25-14, 30-28 before losing to eventual champion Newport Harbor 21-25, 25-19, 15-10 in the semifinals.
In the other semifinal, Palisades Charter held off Loyola 25-13, 23-2, 15-11 before losing to Newport Harbor 20-25, 25-22, 15-12.
The Mustangs traveled to play Corona del Mar in a non-league match on Tuesday and will begin Bay League competition today with a 3 p.m. contest against Palos Verdes to be held at Manhattan Beach Middle School.
Mira Costa continues its quest for a league title with a road match at Peninsula on Tuesday.
Mira Costa is led by two key players in captains, senior outside hitter Thomas Kretschmer and senior middle blocker Adam Sevier, both who are third-year varsity players.
Will Bond, the team’s third captain, is the vocal leader of the team and pushes his teammates in practice.
“Two other 3-year starters will be very important,” head coach Avery Drost said. “Senior libero Lauch Farris is a candidate for all Bay League, and junior setter Jack Walmer, who has grown and improved every year, recently committed to the University of Hawaii.
“Finally, it will be exciting to watch sophomore outside hitter Ben Coordt, who is a first year starter. He is showing amazing potential and playing with maturity way beyond his age.”
Drost is excited about his talented team but knows winning the league title won’t come easy.
“Redondo is very talented and experienced this year, even tougher than last year,” Drost said. “Peninsula has a strong team with physical seniors at both pins and are a serious threat. It’s another deep year in the Bay League, but this year ever more so than usual.”
Redondo improved to 7-1 after posting 3-0 shutouts against Loyola and El Segundo.
The Sea Hawks begin their quest for the Bay League crown with a road match at Leuzinger on Monday. The following day they will host Palos Verdes. Both matches are slated to start at 4:30 p.m.