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By Zach Cavanagh
For in-game updates, news and more for all of the San Clemente High School sports programs, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SouthOCSports.
Boys Volleyball Starts Season in Strong Form
The San Clemente boys volleyball team has come out of the gates pumping on all cylinders to open the 2020 season.
The Tritons (7-1) kicked off their season with five straight sweeps in the Tesoro Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22. San Clemente swept two-set tournament matches with Marina, Arcadia and Beckman in pool play and Trabuco Hills and Sage Creek in bracket play to advance to the semifinals.
On Monday, Feb. 24, San Clemente lost a three-set match to reigning CIF-SS and SoCal Regional champion Newport Harbor, which beat the Tritons in the CIF-SS playoffs last season, but San Clemente rebounded to beat Laguna Beach in the third-place match.
Junior outside hitter Dane Hillis was named to the all-tournament team.
San Clemente avenged its loss to Newport Harbor a day later with a four-set nonleague win on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at San Clemente High School.
The Tritons next play at home on Tuesday, March 3 against Edison at 6:15 p.m. and on Thursday, March 5 at Laguna Hills before opening the Best of the West Tournament in Poway on Friday, March 6.
Seven Wrestlers Qualify to Masters, Championships None Advance to State
The San Clemente wrestling program had strong showings in the boys CIF-SS Coastal Division and girls CIF-SS Southern Regional tournaments on Feb. 14-15, but the Tritons couldn’t follow up their performances in the boys CIF-SS Masters and girls CIF-SS Championships on Feb. 21-22.
In the girls CIF-SS Southern Regional, San Clemente had five wrestlers reach championship qualifying positions.
Sophomore Lily Mercado was the top Triton placer in third place at 235 pounds. Sophomores Keyla Ajoleza and Kaili Ibarra qualified in fourth at 121 and 126 pounds, respectively. Senior Evy Osorio finished in sixth at 131 pounds, and junior Olivianna Kane finished seventh at 137 pounds.
At the boys CIF-SS Coastal Division championship, San Clemente combined for a sixth-place finish as a team, but only two Tritons qualified for the Masters Meet.
Sophomore Jake Lerdahl found the podium with a third-place performance at 132 pounds. Fellow sophomore Boyd Garrett finished fourth at 132 pounds to qualify for Masters.
However, in the following weekend’s tournaments, no Triton wrestler could get through the gauntlet and advance to the State tournament.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.