Breakers rebound to victory

Volleyball team will play in CIF finals Saturday after coming back to trounce Thousand Oaks.

May 21, 2010|By Mike Sciacca

Travis Woloson and his teammates weren't about to let a golden opportunity slip away.

No, not again.

A year after being eliminated from title contention in the same round, the Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball team found itself trailing visiting Thousand Oaks, 2-1 in games Tuesday, in the Division II semifinal round of the CIF Southern Section-Toyota Volleyball Championships.

The Breakers had their collective backs to the wall at Dugger Gym but did settle down to get back into their own game.


A heated and passionate pep talk, before the start of Game Four, did the trick.

"We knew we weren't playing up to our capabilities and just had to play a lot better. It was that simple," said Woloson, a senior setter for the Breakers. "We just had to step up and take control on our court, and we did that. We started to play better in that fourth game, especially on defense, and our crowd as awesome. We all feed off each other and the emotion from the crowd."

Laguna parlayed a new-found sense of urgency to rebound from a game down, did take control of the fourth game from the start, then assumed command from the get-go in the fifth and decisive game, to come away with a 19-25, 25-13, 24-26, 25-20, 15-11 victory over a young, tenacious Lancers team that didn't have a single senior on its roster.

The win catapults Laguna into Saturday's Division II championship match at Cypress College. The Breakers will face defending champion Westlake at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday is also Prom Night for Laguna.

"I'm really excited for the boys, to be playing for a CIF championship," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said. "I've been there before, but they haven't. It's just an amazing experience. How many times, really, does a high school athlete, get to perform in a championship-type of setting, on a stage like this? Not very often. I just want the boys to relish this opportunity, to remember it."

Stewart was a member of the 1981 Laguna squad that won a CIF 4A (Division I) championship, the first of three consecutive titles for the program and its fifth, overall. The 1983 season, in which Laguna played in Division III and was the final year of a three-year, dominating run, is the last time a Laguna team has won CIF.

The school's last finals appearance was in 1999.

Saturday will mark the program's ninth trip to the finals.

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