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Volleyball: Loyola topples Corona del Mar in Division 1 final

Posted by sreilly on May 22, 2016 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)



Eric SondheimerContact Reporter

Varsity Times Insider

Loyola won the Southern Section Division 1 volleyball championship on Saturday night with a five-set victory over Corona del Mar at Cerritos College.


It was the sixth championship for Coach Michael Boehle. The Cubs won the first two sets, then lost the next two, including 33-31 in set four. In set five, the Cubs prevailed, 15-12.


JP Reilly had 18 kills for Loyola. UCLA-bound Sam Kobrine had 28 kills for Corona del Mar.


Here's the link to expanded story from the Daily Pilot.


In the past week, the Cubs won Southern Section titles in volleyball, swimming and golf. They also won the Southern California lacrosse title (it's not an official championship sport in the Southern Section).


Oak Park won the Division 2 title in five sets over Burroughs.


Valley Christian won the Division 3 title over Cathedral in five sets.


Damien won the Division 5 title and Saddleback Christian took the Division 4 title.


For the latest on high school sports, follow @LATSondheimer on Twitter


Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


After epic comeback, CdM can't finish off Loyola

Posted by sreilly on May 22, 2016 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

NORWALK – The script had some of the same key plot twists as the CIF-SS quarterfinals, but unfortunately the ending was much different for the Corona del Mar boys volleyball team.


In the the quarterfinals, CdM dropped the first two sets of Saturday’s CIF-SS Division 1 final against Loyola of Los Angeles, but again, that wasn’t the end of the night for the Sea Kings.


CdM rallied all the way back, forcing a fifth set, but came up short in its quest for the title came up short, falling to second-seeded Loyola, 25-14, 28-26, 17-25, 31-33, 15-12, at Cerritos College in the Division 1 final.


“We definitely battled, we needed to serve and pass better,” CdM coach Steve Conti said. “I think they were able to do that, especially in game one and most of game two. This match could have gone either way … they were just a little bit better than us tonight.”


Loyola (29-2) took the lead in the fifth set, 7-6 on a kill from Casey McGarry. CdM (28-6) was chasing the set from there, eventually tying Loyola at 11-11 and 12-12. However, the Cubs scored the final three points to end the match.


The fifth set looked like anything but a certain thing during the early stages of the match and especially in the fourth set.


CdM turned in a miraculous stretch of survival in the fourth set, fighting off set point five times before finally ending the set on a Loyola attack into the net, forcing a fifth and deciding set.


Sam Kobrine had 11 kills in the fourth set to help CdM stay alive. He finished the match with 28. Brandon Browning and Mitch Haly had 16 and 11 kills, respectively.


“I saw a lot of heart and a lot of fight,” Conti said of the fourth set. “A lot of reasons why we get to play in this match was kind of displayed in that fourth set. I love this team. It is a great group of guys.”


This is the second consecutive season of heartbreak for CdM in the CIF finals. Last year, the Sea Kings lost in five sets to Huntington Beach.


After a slow start, CdM showed signs of life in the third set. Browning had consecutive kills and Will Hunter had a big solo block for a 14-9 lead forcing Loyola into a timeout.


The Sea Kings kept their focus for the remainder of the set, led by Sam Kobrine to lead the way to the victory.


Loyola was hitting .500 over the first two sets, but cooled down dramatically in the third (.125).


CdM was its own worst enemy in the second set, missing five serves in a set where every point ended up being crucial.


Loyola wasted little time getting down to business in the first set. Thanks to their strong service game and rocket kills from John Reilly, the Cubs were all over the Sea Kings, eventually stretching their lead to double digits late in the set. The Cubs hit .500 in the first set.


The teams met earlier this season with Loyola winning in four sets in a nonleague match. Last year in the Division 1 semifinals, CdM knocked off Loyola to advance.


Loyola’s road to the finals included victories of three Orange County teams (Edison, San Clemente and Beckman).


JP Reilly led the Cubs with 18 kills. Jack Truman and Will Bantle had 15 and 11, respectively.


Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com

Daily Pilot: CdM denied again

Posted by sreilly on May 22, 2016 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)



David Carrillo Peñaloza

NORWALK — Steve Conti is no stranger to leading the Corona del Mar High boys' volleyball team to the CIF Southern Section finals. He coached in his 12th on Saturday night.


Twelve section finals appearances in 21 years is a remarkable number. Many of those trips have come in consecutive years. While Conti has never won back-to-back section titles, his teams had never lost two in a row either.


Conti made history, not the kind he wanted, on the biggest stage. He guided the Sea Kings back to the Division 1 championship match at Cerritos College, and for the second time in as many years, CdM lost in five sets on the same court.


The Sea Kings have fallen short each time.


Second-seeded Los Angeles Loyola held on to defeat CdM, 25-14, 25-20, 17-25, 31-33, 15-12, downing the Sea Kings for the second time in two months.


The latest triumph gave Loyola (28-2) the ultimate prize, its first section title in six years. The Cubs have reached the finals before, coming up short three times in the previous four years.


The Sea Kings (27-6) almost came back and took down Loyola, forcing a decisive fifth set. Game No. 4 went back and forth, it was even 22 times, and it ran long. It seemed like the fourth set would never end, and then it did with UCLA-bound senior Sam Kobrine pounding six kills down the stretch in Game 4 to give CdM a dramatic 33-31 win.


The action was just as tight and intense in the final set. Seven times the score was even.


Kobrine, an outside hitter who finished with 28 kills, four assists, four digs, one solo block, one block assist and one service ace, broke two ties early in Game 5 with kills. His next two kills knotted the score at 11-11. Loyola called a timeout, and when it returned, it went ahead, 12-11, before Kobrine blocked a shot by JP Reilly, allowing CdM to catch the Cubs at 12-12.


The Sea Kings would never score again.


Reilly recorded his 18th and final kill to put Loyola ahead for good. The Sea Kings' next two shots were either long or stuffed. Ian Parish, a 6-foot-8 middle blocker, turned away Brandon Browning, clinching Loyola's 12th section crown in the program's history.


The Sea Kings looked on in disbelief, coming so close to winning their first Division 1 championship in 16 years.


"I'm just hurting for these boys right now," Conti said.


"[The Cubs] made a couple of plays toward the end of the match to win it."


Loyola seemed like it would run away with the championship, winning the first two sets.


The Cubs went into the evening having CdM's number, winning four of the past five matchups; their lone loss came in the semifinals a year ago. The Sea Kings swept the Cubs at Loyola in that one, and Loyola tried to return the favor.


The opening set featured four ties early on, and then the Cubs created a little separation. They went on a 5-1 run, as Reilly registered a service ace and hammered two kills out of the back row. Loyola led, 11-7, and it pulled away in Game 1 with strong serves — five went for aces — and a high hitting percentage.


The Cubs hit a staggering .500 as a team. The player who hurt CdM the most in the first set was Reilly, who produced six kills on nine attempts and added two digs.


Casey McGarry (33 assists) and Davis Boehle (22 assists), who fed Reilly in Game 1, began finding others like Jack Truman (15 kills) and Will Bantle (11 kills) in Game 2. The Cubs rallied to win the second set, scoring the last seven points for a 25-20 win.


The Sea Kings would respond. Harvard-bound setter Matt Ctvrtlik (54 assists and 10 digs) went to Kobrine, Browning (16 kills) and Mitch Haly (11 kills), and CdM prevailed in Games 3 and 4, setting up a Game 5 in the section final for the second straight year.


They had a legitimate chance to win this Game 5, unlike last year, when powerhouse Huntington Beach beat the Sea Kings en route to a three-peat. Loyola, which won in four sets at CdM on April 16, stood in the way of the Sea Kings again.




Twitter: @ByDCP


Copyright © 2016, Daily Pilot

California Interscholastic Federation

Loyola Bests CDM at Home

Posted by sreilly on April 23, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)



By David Carrillo Peñaloza

April 22, 2015 | 11:11 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — For the second time in five days, Corona del Mar High and Los Angeles Loyola played each other in a key boys' volleyball match.


The previous contest took place on a neutral site on Saturday, when the Cubs swept CdM in the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions finale. Loyola played host to Wednesday's match, and the Cubs actually brought out the brooms early.


A ceiling tile crashed onto the court after a CdM dig struck it in the second set. No one was hurt during the incident, which took a three-man crew to clean up, one picked up the tile and two swept the debris away.


The Cubs went on to win the second set to go up, 2-0, but there would not be another sweep of CdM. It took four sets for Loyola to top the Sea Kings, winning 25-20, 28-26, 21-25, 25-17.


The Sea Kings (19-6), ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, dropped another one to No. 2 Loyola (22-1) and it will cost them. With the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs three weeks away, the setback all but ruined CdM's hopes of locking up one of the top two seeds.


It's unusual for two highly ranked teams to see one another twice in such a short period. The schedule worked out that way. In the off-season, when CdM Coach Steve Conti set up April's nonleague match with Loyola, he said he was unaware that Loyola planned a trip to the Santa Barbara tournament as well.


Wherever CdM has faced Loyola in the last 11 months, the Cubs have the Sea Kings' number. The Cubs beat CdM for the third straight time, two of those have come at Loyola, where the Sea Kings also lost a heartbreaking five-set match in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs last season.


"They were more efficient than us, they make less unforced errors, and I think they play harder than us, too, and that's kind of a frustrating thing," said Conti, who has never won in five tries at Loyola during his 20 years in charge of the Sea Kings. "Their guys are flying all over the place and we're sometimes getting a touch on the ball and standing around and kind of watching a little bit. That's a little frustrating right now.


"I think [playing Loyola again is] the scenario that you would hope for. I mean, anyone who is competitive when you lose to someone, I think you always want the opportunity to play that team again, an opportunity of redemption."


The Sea Kings fell way short of becoming the second team to down Loyola this season. Only No. 1 Huntington Beach (27-0) has been able to knock off Loyola. The Oilers have beaten everyone in their last 91 matches.


The Oilers and Cubs have shown they are the top two programs and many expect them to square off in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 final for the third year in a row. Loyola Coach Michael Boehle has led his team to the section finals in five out of the last six years, but the Cubs have lost three consecutive times on the big stage.


The Cubs rallied and beat CdM in the semifinals to reach the section finale last year. They didn't have to come back against CdM on Wednesday.


The match attracted John Speraw, UCLA's coach, and Bill Ferguson, USC's coach. There was a lot of talent on the court, CdM senior outside hitter Ryan Moss is heading to USC, along with Loyola senior libero Matt Douglas.


The best player proved to Loyola's Matt Reilly, who is pretty smart as well. He's going to MIT. The senior outside hitter finished with 22 kills and three solo blocks, while senior outside hitter Luke Nassif added 11 kills. Junior setters Davis Boehle and Casey McGarry finished with 23 and 19 assists, respectively.


UC Santa Barbara-bound opposite Kevin Fults led CdM with 10 kills and four block assists. Moss, junior middle blocker Will Hunter and senior middle blocker Augie Miller contributed eight kills apiece. Matt Ctvrtlik, a junior setter, totaled 34 assists, seven digs, three kills and two solo blocks.


"I hope we can see them again," Michael Boehle said, before changing his mind about Loyola and CdM meeting in the semifinals again. "I mean, I don't. It's hard to beat a team three times. We all want to get [to the final]. We all want to knock down that black and orange team [from Huntington Beach]."

LA Times: Matt Douglas MVP of SB Tournament

Posted by sreilly on April 20, 2015 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)



It's not every volleyball tournament that a libero earns MVP honors, but that was the case this past weekend at the Santa Barbara tournament, where Matt Douglas of Loyola was chosen MVP after leading the Cubs to the championship over Corona del Mar.



"He was the catalyst behind our defense," Coach Michael Boehle said.


Douglas is headed to USC.


Loyola won the final, 25-22, 25-23, 25-16.


The Cubs are 20-1 on the season, with their only loss to No. 1 Huntington Beach. Also making all-tournament were Davis Boehle and Casey McGarry.



BVB: Loyola adds a little finesse to Karch Kiraly TOC title

Posted by sreilly on April 20, 2015 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)



The all-tournament selections from champion Loyola were a testament to the tremendous ball control and defense the Cubs demonstrated throughout the weekend at the Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions.

Setters Casey McGarry and Davis Boehle were named all-tournament and libero Matt Douglas was chosen as the MVP after the top-seeded Cubs swept third-seeded Corona del Mar, 25-23 ,25-23, 25-16 in Saturday’s final at JR Richards Gym.

Douglas is the heart of the Loyola team, starting the attack with pin-point passing and keeping rallies alive his digging. He frustrated hitters all weekend.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Loyola coach Mike Boehle said of Douglas being named the MVP. “He’s the catalyst behind our passing and our defense. We were in some pretty sticky situations where we were down by a few — and some of these teams were teeing off — and he would step right in because we had some blocking schemes that we would try. We knew we were going to get one on ones, but with Matt back there filling the gap, he just did a really good job of making great digs.”

Douglas’ passing and digging gave junior setters Davis Boehle (the coach’s son) and McGarry plenty of options.

“With the two setters we have, I thought it was pretty cool they honored them with all-tournament,” coach Boehle said. “They’re behind our offense, they’re our point guards. Both Casey and Davis did a remarkable job setting the right hitter in the right situations. And that’s what you want out of your setter. You want to make sure they’re running the offense and we’re getting the-one on-one match-ups and the mismatches. That’s the one thing I appreciate about having two really good setters: they are the coaches on the court.”

The Cubs went on a four-point run in the first set to take an 18-13 lead. But Corona del Mar fought back behind the play of middles Augie Miller and Will Hunter and setter Matt Ctvrtlik. In the front row, Ctvrtlik recorded back-to-back kills (one on a overpass) to pull the Sea Kings within one, 24-23. But Loyola came up with some clutch plays on a long rally to win the set point. Middle Jack Truman made a big block, Douglas dug a ball and Nassif recorded the set-clinching kill.

A kill by Kevin Fults gave Corona del Mar a 23-22 lead in the second set. Loyola answered with McGarry feeding the 6-9 Truman for the tying point followed by Scott Stoeckinger swiping the ball off a CdM block for the go-ahead point. Stoeckinger found an open spot in the deep corner for the winning point.

The Cubs roared out to a 7-0 lead in the third set behind the serving of Matt Reilly.

“I think we wore them out. We were serving lousy in the first two sets and then we went to float serves and it worked,” said Boehle.

Loyola defeated Newbury Park in four sets in the semifinals. Corona del Mar knocked off second-seeded Mira Costa in four sets in the other semifinal.

Angelus: Loyola Boys Volleyball sweeps Mira Costa in annual Battle of the Bay

Posted by sreilly on March 29, 2015 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)


In all of my years of attending sporting events, I had never been to a rivalry game at which the majority of the fans of the opposing teams socialized amicably with each other both before and after the game. But then again, I had never attended a boys volleyball match between the Loyola Cubs and Mira Costa Mustangs.


Friday night’s version of this annual rivalry took place at Loyola Marymount University, and the anticipation for it was particularly high given that Loyola and Mira Costa are ranked second and third, respectively, in CIF-SS Division 1 boys volleyball. But what makes this “Battle of the Bay” so special isn’t the wealth of talent on the court; it’s the neighborhood feel emanating throughout the building.


Much is at stake whenever Loyola and Mira Costa square off, not only because both schools are perennial volleyball powerhouses, but also because several Loyola players traditionally hail from Manhattan Beach and other parts of the South Bay. This results in a showdown featuring young men who are friends and former teammates with many players standing on the other side of the net, and a building filled with fans who can’t wait to see the action unfold.


“This is the best game of the year,” said Loyola senior outside hitter Matt Reilly. “This means it all for us ... we’ve been looking forward to this game for weeks, months now. This is the defining moment of our season.”


“It’s a great atmosphere,” added Loyola head coach Michael Boehle. “These two teams, when they play, it can go either way. It just depends on who’s making fewer mistakes, or who’s playing better; who’s serving better.”


This time around, that team was the Cubs, as for the second year in a row, they defeated the Mustangs in a convincing three game sweep.


Game one (25-22): Sluggish start


Though the Cubs would eventually go on to dominate the night, the beginning of the match saw the Mustangs in the driver’s seat. Mira Costa junior outside hitters Jackson Wedbush and Roy McFarland’s relentless activity around the net helped the boys in white jump out to an early 9-5 lead. The boys in blue weren’t doing themselves any favors; a handful of unforced errors forced Coach Boehle to call timeout and calm his squad down.


“I said ‘listen, we’re playing timid,’” recalls Boehle. “It’s the first time for a lot of these kids in this atmosphere, in this big gym, so I think [the sluggish start] was just trying to get used to the tempo, the crowd. So I said ‘we need to settle down. They’re not earning a lot of points. We’re giving them a lot [of points] through our errors. Slow down, take a deep breath, and let’s slowly but surely get back in this.’”


And boy, did they ever. Led by outstanding hitting courtesy of Reilly, senior middle blocker Kyle Jasuta and 6’9” junior middle blocker Jack Truman, Loyola took eight of the next 11 points to regain control and reinvigorate its student section (both student sections had the sheer volume and enthusiasm typical of a student section at a state playoff basketball game).


The rest of the game was a back-and-forth battle until, with the score knotted at 21, Loyola won four of the next five points to take the game.


“I think we started to control the volleyball on our side,” said Boehle of the comeback. “We started to pass better, and then we started blocking better.”


“Coach Boehle just brought us in and said ‘this is nothing we haven’t seen before,’” said Reilly of the turning point timeout. “‘We know what we’re doing out there; just go get it. Be brave, take some swings, and just go for it.’ I think that helped us a lot.”


Game two (25-19): Bookend surges


Loyola picked up right where it left off in the second set. Junior setter Davis Boehle began the game with two straight aces to help Loyola snatch an early 4-1 lead. McFarland rallied his troops with a spike, which Wedbush followed with two spikes of his own to get Mira Costa back into it. A clutch point from senior middle blocker Carter Kimble gave the Mustangs a 10-9 lead, their first since early in the first set.


With Boehle and senior libero Matt Douglas splitting serving duties, the Cubs went on an efficient 16-9 run to take game two (and the air out of Mira Costa’s student section). “[The key was] setting up our passing and working out our middles,” said junior outside hitter Adam Lee of Loyola’s dominant second set. “And limiting our errors really helped us.”


Game Three (25-22): Soft Serve


Facing a do-or-die third set, Mira Costa received stellar contributions from Wedbush, McFarland, senior setter Trevor Liu and junior libero Sam Jones to take an 18-16 lead late in the game. Sensing a shift in momentum, the Mustang crowd came back to life, and shouted in unison, “I believe that we will win.”


But Loyola didn’t believe it; determined to make sure the match ended in a sweep, the Cubs rallied to take a 23-22 lead. Their chances of earning the sweep took a major hit —literally — when a botched Loyola serve ricocheted rapidly off of the net and into Jasuta’s face.


The subsequent bleeding took Jasuta out of the game. Someone else would have to come off of Loyola’s bench to hit the most important serve of the night.


Enter Adam Lee. A junior who hadn’t seen a second of playing time the whole night, Lee suddenly had all eyes on him at the match’s most critical juncture. Lee calmly launched a serve that grazed off the top of the net and landed on Mira Costa’s side, sending the Loyola crowd into a state of absolute pandemonium.


The Cubs’ players were electrified by Lee’s textbook ace. The sweep came to fruition on the very next play, as another solid Lee serve resulted in a game-winning block at the net by Truman.


On a night filled with highlight reel hits from Loyola regulars Reilly, Jasuta and Truman, the highlight of the night was reserved for the reserve.


“When Coach pointed at me, I just took two deep breaths, closed my eyes, and imagined myself serving,” recalls Lee. “And then, when I went back to serve, the crowd was going wild, [so] I tried to just focus my mind ... and I just let it go. Let it rip ... even though I didn’t play the whole match, that one moment defined my [place in the rivalry].”


Up Next: Crespi


Loyola’s next game will be at Crespi Carmelite on March 24. The Celts are sure to have their hands full trying to stop the Cubs, who proved on Friday that they have not only tremendous talent, but the work ethic to match it. “You gottagive the kids credit for the heart, the effort, and the dedication they put in [tonight],” beamed Coach Boehle. And if you’re Crespi, you’ll have to be prepared for it