Granite Bay tops Rocklin for section volleyball crown

By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
-A +A
ELK GROVE ? Granite Bay High School?s boys volleyball took home the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship after defeating Rocklin 3-0 at Monterey Trail. The Grizzlies featured nine seniors on a 16-player roster. ?We knew coming out that it was going to be a battle,? senior Matt Austin said. ?We just knew that we were going to have to play a little bit harder. Swing really hard, and swing high.? The teams exchanged extensive rallies before Granite Bay (31-7) edged the Thunder (17-5) in the first set. Granite Bay dominated the next two sets. Big outside hitter Matt Laughrea of Rocklin sat out the first set due to disciplinary action. Granite Bay coach Bruce Honberger said his squad got complacent. ?The net effect was that we thought we were going to win (the first set) easily,? Honberger said. ?So it was kind of like we played down to their level a little bit. When he (Laughrea) came back, both our teams were at full strength, and then it was just about playing with passion and confidence.? Kyle Loria led the Thunder with eight kills. Rocklin reached the title game by defeating Ponderosa 3-0 in round two. Rocklin 3, Jesuit 1 Rocklin looked as if they might sweep visiting Jesuit in the first round of the playoffs but the Marauders decided to make things interesting in the first match at Rocklin High. After taking two of the first three games 25-17, 25-21, Jesuit claimed the third set 25-22. Rocklin then came out with renewed energy in game four to rally past Jesuit for a 25-21 win and the match. It meant overcoming the Marauders? momentum and an 11-5 deficit early on. Rocklin caught Jesuit at the 15-15 mark and then took it to the finish. ?When the momentum swings it?s really hard to switch it around,? Rocklin head coach John Kirk said of volleyball. ?It took a game and a half to switch it around basically.? Jesuit shook off the first two sets and jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third game. The visitors went up by eight at one point before the Thunder closed the gap the three, 23-20. However, Jesuit eventually secured the victory. Sac-Joaquin Sections 2012 Volleyball Playoffs Division 1 Championship Granite Bay 28 25 25 ? 3 Rocklin 26 20 17 - 0