Servite finally finishes off San Clemente
Even though the sweep didn't come for the Servite boys volleyball team, the Friars achieved the next best thing.
Servite was one point in the third set from completing the sweep against visiting San Clemente on Saturday night, but the Tritons rallied to win and remained alive in the match in their CIF-SS Division 1 boys volleyball quarterfinal.
"It was tough. Everyone knew that we should have won on our team, especially going up 24-21," Servite's Madison Hayden said of losing the third set. "We thought it was really important for Game 4, not to dwell on that, if we did, we could have come out slow."
The Friars didn't have any trouble refocusing as they jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fourth and, after holding off another late Tritons run, eventually closed out the match, 25-17, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23.
Servite (30-3-1) advances to the semifinals to face top-seeded Loyola of Los Angeles on Tuesday. San Clemente ends the season 24-7.
"We came (in the fourth set) with a lot of energy, probably a little frustrated with letting Game 3 slip away," Servite coach Matt Marrujo said. "The guys refocused and came back out and really push at these guys."
Hayden led Servite with 34 kills. Sam Hunt and Kyle Palmer had 14 and 10 kills, respectively.
Servite led, 20-13, in the fourth set. San Clemente didn't go quietly, scoring five consecutive points to get to 20-18.
Leading 24-23, Hayden ended the match with a kill.
"Our guys never quit all year," San Clemente coach Ken Goldstone said. "That's the one great thing about this team is that they just grind it out, gravel for balls and hang in there. We have seven losses this year and every team we've lost to, it has been close and we play hard, so you have to be happy about that."
Arek Halaj led San Clemente with 15 kills.
"They're a really good team," Marrujo said of San Clemente. "They're great defensively, very well-coached and some of the smartest hitters we've played all year.
"We knew that we had to practice hard and prepare for all that. They (San Clemente) played a great match and I think we were very fortunate to get out of here."
In Division 2:
Corona del Mar 3, Trabuco Hills 0: Parker Brown led the host Sea Kings (24-6) with 19 kills and Jack Reed added nine in the 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 victory.
CdM will host West Ranch of Valencia in the semifinals.
West Ranch defeated Laguna Beach, 15-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-23 in another quarterfinal.
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