Los Alamitos savors 'great victory' over Dana Hills
LOS ALAMITOS – Los Alamitos opposite hitter Teddy Howard said it was something he had rarely seen.
It had not happened on the stage the Griffins boys volleyball team found itself on Thursday night.
Down 16-6 in the fourth set, the Griffins seemed destined for a fifth set in their second round match against Dana Hills, but then, the improbable happened.
Led by the thunderous strikes of Cole Thompson and Howard, Los Alamitos climbed out of the hole to defeat the Dolphins, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 27-25 in a CIF-SS Division 1 playoff game at Los Alamitos High.
“I have seen it before, but not in a playoff game,” Howard said of the comeback. “It’s something to behold. It’s great when it happens, and it’s always a great victory.”
Thompson had 16 kills, and Howard added 11 for the Griffins (26-6). Jonathan Frenzel had six kills and six blocks, and Eric Ball chipped in with 16 digs.
Los Alamitos advances to the third round, where it will host second-seeded Loyola. That game will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Griffins used a six-point run to take control of the first game.
In the second set, Grady Yould, Grant Marocchi and Jake Lorscheider each recorded blocks to help the Dolphins even the match.
Yould led Dana Hills with 19 kills, followed by Teddy Fitzgerald’s 14.
After Dana Hills (29-4) knotted the match at one, Frenzel took matters into his own hands. He provided two early blocks, later adding three of his six kills to help the Griffins close out the game.
“Jon Frenzel had the best match of his life tonight,” said Griffins coach Mike Whitcomb. “He made a huge difference. He made multiple blocks. We were fortunate to have it in such a huge game.”
The Dolphins broke out to leads of 16-6 and 19-10 in the fourth game. A five-point run brought the Griffins closer. Los Alamitos saved four set points, the last on a powerful left-handed swing by Howard.
Howard was grateful for the crowd support.
“The crowd makes the game,” he said. “I don’t think we could have come back without our crowd.”