By Steve Breazeale
For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the San Clemente High School spring sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.
Dolphins Sweep Tritons to Earn League Title
On paper, the Dana Hills boys volleyball team does not stack up well against the height of most of their opponents. But the team does not let that slow them down.
Dana Hills faced a much taller opponent in San Clemente on April 28 at the Tritons home gym and used their ball control-oriented style of play to sweep their longtime rival, 25 -23, 25-19 and 25-20, to claim the South Coast League title.
The Dolphins (22-1, 7-0 league) excelled in just about every facet of the game, especially when serving and passing in transition, according to head coach Oz Simmons.
“We have to be the better passing team if you’re going up against guys who are 6’8”, 6’6” and I think we did. We passed and served probably the best that we have so far this year,” Simmons said.
Senior outside hitters Grady Yould and Teddy Fitzgerald led the Dolphins. Fitzgerald collected a game-high 13 kills and Yould added 12. The two combined for at least nine points in every set and were responsible for Dana Hills’ first six points in the third and final set.
The Dolphins had eight aces from six different players. The final point of the match came on a Thomas DeStefano ace that secured the outright league title.
San Clemente (17-4, 4-2) was down 16-8 in the first before mounting a late comeback. Two straight kills by junior Aaron Strange brought the Tritons to within one point at 24-23, but Fitzgerald ended the threat, and the set, with a kill on the first play out of a Dolphins timeout.
The Tritons erased a seven-point deficit in the second and trailed Dana Hills 20-18, but consecutive serving errors on their next two tries handed the Dolphins the set.
“Each game we were in a hole. It was serving, passing and setting—three things you have to do well against good teams and we didn’t do them consistently,” San Clemente head coach Ken Goldstone said. “(Dana Hills) forced the errors. They forced us into bad passing. I think we’re better than that, we just didn’t play as well as we should.”
Dana Hills has now won nine straight matches and has dropped only one set in seven league tilts.
The second-place Tritons will travel to play Laguna Hills on April 30 and host Tesoro on May 5.
After Sweep, Tritons Baseball Returns to League
The San Clemente baseball team did not send their top-two starting pitchers to the mound in a nonleague doubleheader against Dana Hills on April 22 and were swept by their rivals 2-1 and 5-4, respectively.
In the first game, the Tritons were stymied by Dana Hills’ senior starter Marrick Crouse, who spun a complete game six-hitter while striking out six and walking none.
The Tritons (17-6, 5-1) were set to return to league play April 29 against Laguna Hills. San Clemente defeated the Hawks 8-2 on April 1. The arms of both top pitchers, Andre Pallante and Will Tribucher, should be featured over the next two games.
Tritons Lacrosse Clinches Playoff Berth
The San Clemente boys lacrosse team recently punched their ticket into the U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Championships by securing at least a share of fourth place in the South Coast League.
San Clemente (9-14, 4-3) suffered back to back losses to Trabuco Hills and Aliso Niguel on April 17 and April 23, respectively, before rattling off a convincing 20-9 win over last-place Capistrano Valley on April 28.
In the match against the Cougars, 11 different Tritons notched goals, led by a four-goal effort from Garrett Eslick.
San Clemente will finish league play with a match against Tesoro on May 1. As of April 29, the Tritons would face the Titans in the first round of the playoffs, according to www.maxlaxoc.com.
Tritons Golf Splits With Tesoro
The San Clemente boys golf team pulled off a season series split with reigning league champion Tesoro by claiming a 199-203 victory over the Titans at Bella Collina Golf Club on April 23.
No Triton golfer medaled, but the win put them in position to finish the season strong.
San Clemente (9-4, 4-3) followed up with a 191-222 win over El Toro on April 27. San Clemente was set to finish league play on April 28 against El Toro. Results were not available at press time.
Girls Track Places 10th at OC Championships
The San Clemente girls track and field team got four strong performances at the Orange County Championships on April 25 that powered them to a 10-place finish at the high-profile event.
Senior Kelsey Carroll set personal records and earned a pair of third-place finishes in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs, with times of 4:56 and 10:49, respectively.
Senior Katie Carroll also set two personal bests, finishing seventh in the 3200 and 15th in the 1600.
The Tritons throwing duo of Anna Gillis and Madison Chronister had strong showings. Gillis places sixth in the shot put and fourth in the discus while Chronister placed third in the discus.
San Clemente will compete in the Sea View League prelims on May 5 and the league finals on May 8.
Boys Swim Breezes Past Tesoro
Two San Clemente boys swim team records were broken on April 28 in the Tritons league meet against Tesoro.
The 200 medley relay team of Weston Rowan, Brad Prolo, Josh Swart and Aidan Pastel set a new school-best time of 1:34.23.
Prolo also set a new school record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 57.56.
The Tritons improved their record to 3-1 in league competition, with a 93-77 victory over the Titans.