By Steve Breazeale
After battling to a five-set win over Newport Harbor in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs on May 9, the San Clemente boys volleyball team defeated Mater Dei in four sets on May 11 to surge into the semifinals.
San Clemente won the first two sets 25-17, 25-22, before dropping the third 22-25. A 25-21 fourth set win over the Monarchs ensured the Tritons a berth in a May 15 semifinals match against Loyola.
The Tritons have a slight edge in the history column against the team from Los Angeles, as they defeated them 2-1 on March 9 en route to their Best of the West tournament title.
The Tritons (32-2) had three players tally double digits in kills against Mater Dei, an occurrence that has become routine since Lucas Yoder was sidelined with an injury.
Garrett Costello led the team with 12 kills, Peter Van Liefde had 11, Shawn Stephens had 10 and AJ Hammer contributed nine. Running the passing game that fueled the balanced offense was senior setter Jack Yoder, who notched 55 assists in the contest.
Robert Ryley and Van Liefde provided six blocks each at the net.
Senior libero Grant Townsend led the team with a 16 dig effort.
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