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Dana Hills stuns Mater Dei in first round of playoffs

STAFF WRITER

The regular season didn't go the way the Dana Hills boys volleyball team would have liked, but the CIF-SS playoffs are off to a great start.

Dana Hills, the fourth-place team in the South Coast League, rallied from a 2-1 deficit and knocked off Trinity League champion Mater Dei, 21-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 15-12, Tuesday in a Division 1 first round game.

Dana Hills (22-10) will face Huntington Beach in the second round Thursday night.

“I told the guys, I think we have a lot of people rooting for us,” Dana Hills coach Oz Simmons said. “Well, everybody in the South Coast League (is) rooting for us. This is our fourth-place team against (their) first-place team.

"We played well when we beat Laguna Beach (to end the regular season last week). We didn’t play well in some league matches, but I think the guys want to play a good last match.”

The Dolphins were close to playing their last match Tuesday.

In a must-win fourth set, they scored the first six points and never let the Monarchs get closer than four points.

“I think our blocking was what came through,” Simmons said. “The matches that we won, we blocked well. We passed well … I think our middles, our block and our passing was the difference.”

In the final set, Dana Hills again had an early lead, but Mater Dei stayed close and took the lead, 11-10, on a kill from Joe Brown.

Dylan Campeau tied the score at 11-11 and Grady Yould gave the Dolphins the lead for good with a kill.

Yould led the Dolphins with 25 kills. Campeau had 12. Jake Freeman and Matt Tonks had 10 apiece.

“We wanted to prove something,” Yould said. “The games we lost were close, and we were mad about that. We wanted to show that we’re a good team.

Yould last the Dolphins' victory over Laguna Beach last week gave the team a boost.

“We were pretty down because we got fourth in our league, but we came out and beat (Laguna Beach), and that got momentum rolling for us and got our confidence back,” Yould said.

Sterling Miles led the Monarchs with 20 kills. Daniel Nguyen and Brandon Hicks had 14 and 11, respectively.

Also in Division 1:

Huntington Beach 3, Yorba Linda 1: Shane Holdaway and Davey Kim led the three-time defending champion Oilers (27-1) with 13 and 10 kills, respectively, in the 25-22, 26-28, 25-12, 25-19 home victory.

Newport Harbor 3, St. John Bosco 0: Cole Pender had 12 kills and Spencer Lawrence added eight in the Sailors' 25-19, 25-13, 25-18 victory at Newport Harbor.


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