By Steve Breazeale
Tritons, Dolphins Volleyball Set for Huge Rematch
With their three-set win over visiting Trabuco Hills on April 23 the San Clemente boys volleyball team has been playing out a script that seems fit for Hollywood. The only thing missing now is the ending.
The Tritons (23-0, 6-0 league) will begin writing the finale to their season that has been filled with more ups than downs on April 25, when they put their perfect record on the line against their biggest rival and, statistically, their toughest opponent to date in Dana Hills.
As if that’s not enough drama, the Tritons will have to travel on the road and beat the Dolphins (22-4, 5-1) without arguably their most productive player.
Tritons senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder was diagnosed with a concussion after falling off a skateboard two weeks ago and has not been cleared to play. San Clemente head coach Ken Goldstone said that Yoder will not be available for the April 25 rematch.
“It’s a huge loss…it really is,” Goldstone said.
Dana Hills (21-4, 4-1) is one of only two teams who have pushed the Tritons to five sets this season. That was back on April 2, when the Tritons prevailed with a narrow 3-2 victory. The Dolphins jumped out to an early 2-0 set lead in that game, behind the efforts of standout junior outside hitter Christian Hessenauer and senior middle blocker Bryce Yould. But the Tritons were able to counter with a balanced attack and won the next three sets in a row in front of their home crowd. Yoder led the way for the Tritons down the stretch and had a game-high 21 kills in the match.
If the Tritons can pull off the win they will have a firm grasp on the South Coast League title and in the driver’s seat to deny the Dolphins their fourth straight banner with one game still to play. Ending the Dolphins streak has no doubt weighed on the Tritons’ collective minds.
“We weren’t the favorites in league coming into the season, Dana Hills was,” San Clemente head coach Ken Goldstone said. “It’s one thing playing the underdog, and it’s one thing saying ‘Hey, we were the underdog’ and proved with our play that we belong where we are now.”
Where the Tritons are now is at the top of the league standings as well as the CIF-SS Division 1 coaches polls, where they’ve sat for a good chunk of the season. The Dolphins are lurking behind at No. 6.
Triton Lacrosse Survives Early Scare to Cruise Past Mustangs 15-9
Coming off a loss to non-league opponent Great Oak the San Clemente boys lacrosse team bounced back with a 15-9 South Coast League win over Trabuco Hills on April 23.
The Mustangs came out firing early, scoring four unanswered goals in the opening four minutes, catching the Tritons (11-5) on their heels en route to a 5-2 first-quarter lead.
In the second quarter, the attack duo of Robbie Burns and Peyton Garrett led the resurgent Tritons offense, including a fluid exchange between the two near the Mustangs net that resulted in a goal by Garrett to pull San Clemente within one at 6-5. Burns would score his second goal of the quarter seconds later in transition to cap off a sequence where the Tritons scored three times in 90 seconds. Burns led all Tritons scorers with five goals. Garrett would tack on three and tally four assists.
The Tritons defense clamped down and allowed only two goals in the quarter, giving their offense a chance to build up their rising lead. A goal by sophomore Jack Renard just before the halftime whistle gave the Tritons a 9-7 lead heading into the break.
Trabuco Hills would struggle to maintain the possession they enjoyed in the first quarter for much of the second half and found the back of the net twice in the final 24 minutes. The Tritons were able to work their offense and outscore the Mustangs 6-2 in the closing two quarters for the win.
Next Game: 4/25 vs. El Toro, 4 p.m.
Tritons Track Competes in OC Championships
The distance and hurdling events helped propel the San Clemente girls track and field team to a 20th place finish at the Orange County Championships on April 20.
In the 3,200-meter junior Melissa Eisele placed third and sophomore Kelsey Carroll placed eighth. The pair of top-10 finishes in the event gave the Tritons a healthy seven points.
Senior Brittney Thornton had a solid day running the hurdles and placed seventh in the 100-meter and 23rd in the 300-meter races.
For the boys track and field team, junior Arik Nesbit placed fourth in the long jump, posting a distance of 20 feet, 11 inches. Nesbit also placed 25th in the 100-meter.
Both teams were set to compete against Trabuco Hills on April 24. Results were not available at press time.
Next Meet: 4/30 at South Coast League Prelims, 4 p.m.
Tritons Baseball Win Streak Snapped, Maples Throws a No-No
The San Clemente baseball team had a 12-game winning streak snapped by Sea View League opponent San Juan Hills on April 19 in a 6-3 loss.
The Stallions’ big bats woke up in the game against the Tritons (19-5, 6-2) and swatted two home runs off Tritons pitching.
San Clemente then split a pair of games with non-league visitor Great Oak on April 20.
On April 24 San Clemente senior pitcher Cody Maples tossed a no-hitter against Tesoro in a 5-0 victory. Maples walked three and struck out four, needing only 71 pitches to get the job done.
Next Game: 5/1 at Dana Hills, 3:30 p.m.
SC Softball Loses to El Toro in Extras
The San Clemente softball team erased a 5-1 deficit with a six-run fifth inning against El Toro on April 23, but couldn’t complete the comeback as the Chargers would go on to win on a walk-off in the eighth inning 9-8.
Next Game: 4/25 vs. Dana Hills, 4:30 p.m.