Mustang boys volleyball dream season comes to an end

D.J. White lead Mira Costa to an impressive 33-2 record this season. Photo by Ray Vidal

Mira Costa had its dream of a CIF and National championship vanish Saturday when host Mater Dei upset the top ranked Mustangs in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section-Ford boys volleyball Division 1 championships.

The 29-27, 20-25, 25-14, 18-25, 19-9 victory for Mater Dei shocked the top-seeded Mustangs but showed the strength of the division. Third-seeded and defending champion Loyola fell to St. John Bosco in the opening round while No. 4 Newport Harbor – who had handed Mira Costa its only previous loss of the season – joined the Mustangs in being eliminated in the quarterfinals falling to Harvard Westlake (28-4) who advances to play Mater Dei (26-3) in the semifinals Tuesday.

Mira Costa (33-2) could not seem to get on track being outplayed at the net and having no answer for Monarch’s outside hitter Zach La Cavera who scored 35 kills, including five in Mater Dei’s 7-1 run in the final game.

“We just had an off night,” junior Christopher Orenic said. “We didn’t play our usual game and they (Mater Dei) played great. It was definitely a long ride home.”

D.J. White led Mira Costa with 15 kills and four blocks and Karl Acres recorded 11 kills and two blocks in the loss.

After a four-game win over El Dorado, Mira Costa swept host Simi Valley 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 in the second round. Setter Kameron Bain had 36 assists, spreading the ball around to White, who had 17 kills, Acres (nine kills), Orenic (six kills) and Jake Miller (five kills).

Freshman Louis Richard gained valuable playoff experience while recording five kills against second-seeded Santa Margarita. Photo by Ray Vidal

Eight-seeded Redondo (28-8) also saw its season come to a close Saturday when the Sea Hawks were swept at No. 2 Santa Margarita 25-22, 25-18, 25-14. Santa Margarita (31-3) advances to play No. 6 Thousand Oaks (23-6) Tuesday.

Santa Margarita’s physical defense proved too much for Redondo, whose 10 service errors didn’t help its cause.

Riley Theunissen led Redondo with six kills, freshman Louis Richard added five kills, Ryan Mather recorded five kills and Andy Price had 23 assists.

After sweeping Royal, Redondo defeated Dana Hills 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 in the second round. Ryan Mather led the Sea Hawks with 15 kills, Theunissen had 10 kills and three aces and Greg Evans added six kills.

In Division 3, fourth-seeded South Torrance (27-8) swept host Temple in the quarterfinals and will host top-seeded Burroughs (32-3) Tuesday. Torrance (18-13) lost its quarterfinal match to second-seeded Valley Christian (27-4).

In Division 4, Bishop Montgomery (12-16) fell to No. 1 Santa Monica (21-11) in the quarterfinals.

An all-South Bay final remains possible in Division 5 as No. 1 Vistamar (20-2) hosts Poly/Pasadena (16-7) and No. 2 Chadwick (21-5) travels to No. 3 Viewpoint (15-5) in the semifinals. ER

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