By Steve Breazeale
For the first time in the programs history the San Clemente boys volleyball team captured the prestigious Best of the West tournament title on March 9.
The Tritons (9-0) went undefeated in pool play on March 8, defeating La Costa Canyon, Crespi and Thousand Oaks in order. They advanced to March 9 bracket play and defeated Corona Del Mar and Orange Lutheran in two sets.
San Clemente faced top seeded Mira Costa in the semifinals and the Tritons advanced, winning the match in three.
Loyola, ranked No. 2 in the CIF-SS coaches poll, met the Tritons in the finals and San Clemente went on to win 25-20, 22-25 and 15-13.
Senior middle blocker Garrett Costello and senior setter Jack Yoder were named to the All-Tournament team. Senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder was named the tournament MVP.
Two days after the tournament ended, new CIF-SS boys volleyball rankings were released and the Tritons were awarded the No. 1 spot. When looking at the revised rankings, one can see how deep the Best of the West tournament field is and the caliber of teams the Tritons had to face en route to a first place finish. Three of the seven teams San Clemente defeated over the weekend are inside the top-10, including Loyola, Mira Costa (No. 3) and Orange Lutheran (No. 10).