By Steve Breazeale
Tritons Fall to Cubs in Volleyball Semifinals
The San Clemente boys volleyball team had a historic and successful run during the regular season. Their resume included two major tournament wins and a 23-game win streak that spanned from February 26 to April 25.
The team that had so much momentum took a hit when standout senior Lucas Yoder suffered a concussion, forcing him to sit out the last during the last chunk of the season. But the team kept winning.
On May 15 the Tritons found themselves in a CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals match against Loyola of Los Angeles, a team that proved to be the ender of their season, as the Cubs won in four, 30-28, 25-22, 28-26, 35-33.
As the box score indicates, the game was close and competitive, with three of the four sets stretching well past the 25 set-point mark.
With Yoder out, the Tritons have relied on the likes of AJ Hammer, Garrett Costello and Peter Van Liefde to provide offense. Hammer led the Tritons against Loyola with 12 kills. Costello tallied 11.
San Clemente paved their way to the semifinals by battling to a five-set win over Newport Harbor in the second round on May 9, then beating longtime rival Mater Dei in four sets on May 11 in the quarterfinals.
Wolverines Deny Tritons Baseball Elusive Title
The San Clemente baseball team needed a win in their May 9 game against Aliso Niguel to clinch the school’s first baseball league championship in more than 30 years. Entering the day, both Aliso Niguel and San Clemente High Schools stood tied for first place in the Sea View League with 8-3 records.
The Tritons and the Wolverines looked like two evenly matched teams and were tied 0-0 as they headed to the sixth inning Thursday. Both teams managed only five combined hits until the Wolverines stepped up to the plate in the top of the sixth inning.
The scoreless tie was broken when Aliso Niguel’s Kyle Molnar singled to left field bringing in the runner from second base. The Wolverines added two more runs in the top-half of the seventh inning on a double by senior Austin Hudges and Justin Fowler’s two-out single to ensure a 3-0 win, denying the Tritons the title.
Aliso Niguel made Thursday’s game a winner-take-all scenario with a 1-0 win over the Tritons on May 7.
Triton sophomore pitcher Kolby Allard allowed only two hits through the first five innings of the game. Allard was able to retire two batters in the seventh inning before being relieved by senior Marshall Pautsch who recorded the final out. Allard finished the day with 6 2/3 innings pitched allowing five hits, three earned runs while striking out three batters.
Along with driving in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, Molnar also pitched a complete game shutout to give the Wolverines their second Sea View League Championship since 2010. Molnar gave up only five hits, two of which came in the seventh and final inning.
The Tritons now prepare for the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs and will host Mayfair on May 17 at 3:15 p.m. in the first round.
Tritons Divers Make Waves at CIF Championships
Junior diver Makenna Chamoures bettered her solid performance in last year’s CIF-SS Diving Championships with a second-place finish in 2013.
Chamoures placed third last year but was able to one-up herself and was the Tritons top finisher at the event. Teammate Haley Farnsworth placed fifth.
Raselle Chetwynd earned points for the Tritons after placing 12th in
the 500 freestyle.
On the boys side, freshman diver Caleb Dixon placed sixth while sophomore Josh Schwartz finished 19th in the 100 backstroke. Schwartz’s race was significant, given that the young swimmer qualified for the event last year as a freshman but was unable to race due to illness.
San Clemente Track and Field at League Championship, CIF Prelims
Senior Brittney Thornton’s ability to run the hurdling events has rounded into shape late in the season, as she put together solid back-to-back efforts at the South Coast League finals and the CIF Prelims.
Thornton finished second in both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles at the league finals on May 4 at San Clemente before placing 11th in the 100-meter hurdles at the prelims on May 11. Thornton was the highest finisher for the Tritons at the event.
Jessica Erickson placed third in the 400-meter at league finals, earning a berth to the prelims. Results were not available at press time.
The Tritons girls track and field 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams took third at the league finals.
Junior thrower Kelsey Benoit has been on a tear recently in the shot put and discus events and is the lone member of the Tritons boys track and field team competing in the CIF-SS Championship Finals on May 18 at Mt. SAC College. Benoit recorded a shot put throw of 62 feet, 6 ¾ inches at the prelims, good enough for the second best throw in the county this year. According to head coach Dan Johnson, Benoit was the first junior to break the 60-foot mark in Orange County since 1985.