The Loyola Cubs traveled to Redondo Union High School seeking revenge on the Seahawks who swept the Cubs in the regular season. Redondo Union entered the game off a 3-1 win against Edison High School in the first round of the playoffs and an overall record of 27-6. The Cubs boasted a 3-1 victory against the Laguna Beach Breakers in the first round and an overall record of 20-4 entering the contest.
The Cubs started the match with Senior Nico Posivak, Junior Aidan Peters, Senior Will Campbell, Junior Luke Turner, Junior Cameron Lynch, and Junior Henry Wedbush. The Cubs struck first with a kill by Will Campbell, which was followed by a Redondo attack error to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. However, Loyola struggled with their serving and gave up a serve error on the following play. A vicious kill by Luke Turner helped the Cubs score again, but the Seahawks’ aggressive hitting and Loyola’s attack errors allowed the Seahawks to gain the lead, 7-5. An off-speed kill by Tristan Mortimer was followed by a series of dominant plays by Redondo. The Cubs’ continued to serve poorly and they found themselves behind 8-13. However, Will Campbell prevented the Seahawks from extending their lead by getting some off-speed kills by lobbing the ball over the aggressive Redondo blockers. Unfortunately, the terrific hitting by Redondo in the first set stopped the Cubs from making a comeback. Every time the Cubs made a great play, the Seahawks would strike back by finding open space and getting kills. The Seahawks maintained their lead 22-17 before Henry Wedbush caught the whole team off guard when he pretended to make a pass, but instead he hit the ball over his defender to get an off-speed kill. Luke Turner followed up with a bounce to make the score 22-19 before the Seahawks responded with another great hit. Luke Turner kept the set alive with two more kills, along with a Seahawks’ attack error to make the score 24-22. However, Redondo ended the set on the next play with yet another aggressive hit.
Coach Boehle started the second set with his same starters from the first set. The Cubs definitely came out and play differently this time around. Despite Redondo scoring first off a bounce, Luke Turner stepped up and played lights out. He scored off a bounce for the Cubs and on the next play, another Cub made a block to steal the lead from the Seahawks. On the next play, a serve error on Loyola put them in receive once again. After both teams made some great plays, Will Campbell electrified the Loyola crowd with a kill and the first ace of the game. Aidan Peters wanted in on the action and he got an ace, as well. The Seahawks kept the Cubs in check with not only their hitting, but also their fantastic blocking. However, the Cubs were definitely getting into a groove during this set and they continued to play focused. The Seahawks were only able to keep the game close because the Cubs gave up points on serves and had several attack errors. Will Campbell continued to play well and put the Cubs in position to win after a bounce that gave them a 20-17 lead. Luke Turner and Aidan Peters proceeded Campbell with their own great kills, each giving the Cubs a point. A questionable blocking error put the Cubs in receive but the Cubs bounced back thanks to Will Campbell, who scored off a tool and then an ace to make the score 24-20. Two additional errors on the Cubs gave the Seahawks hope, but Tristan Mortimer ended the set with a bounce to even up the game.
Loyola started the third set off strong with a bounce in the right corner of the Seahawks court by Will Campbell. Aidan Peters also scored three times for the Cubs off of kills. Although, the game was kept close because the Cubs continued to make mistakes on their serves, giving up free points to the Seahawks. The Seahawks also caused the Cubs to make mistakes on attacks with their persistent blocking and they were able to get up 10-7. Once again, the Cubs were able to tie the game after Luke Turner and Will Campbell battered the Seahawks with their strong hitting abilities. An attack error on Redondo gave the Cubs the lead before the Seahawks regained their composure and scored off a tool. In the ensuing plays, the Seahawks were excellent at taking advantage of when the Cubs were out of position and finding open space to get kills. This allowed them to take the lead 20-18 and gave them a good opportunity to win the third set. Coach Boehle decided to call a timeout to break the Seahawks momentum and he was successful in doing so. Out of the timeout, the Cubs scored with a bounce by Henry Wedbush. The Cubs gave up a point on a serving error, but Luke Turner followed it up with another bounce. An attack error on the Seahawks tied the game up 21-21. Aidan Peters got a kill to put the Cubs on top but on the following play the Cubs got called for a blocking error. However, the Seahawks proved unable to take advantage of the Cubs mistake by committing two straight errors on their own. Although they were able to get a block, Will Campbell won the third set off a kill that pumped up the Loyola crowd.
Aidan Peters opened up the fourth set by serving but the Seahawks scored because of a Loyola attack error. Luke Turner immediately took charge and tied it up 1-1 with one of his many kills on the night. Redondo, with their season on the line, started to play the most aggressive they had all night. They went on a four point run after getting two blocks and two bounces. Luke Turner scored again for Loyola off a tool, but the Seahawks continued to play with everything they had, extending their lead 7-2. The Cubs make their way back into the game, however, when Tristan Mortimer made an aggressive attempt to get a kill. On the next play, Will Campbell caught the whole Seahawks team off guard with an off-speed kill. Two more kills go in the favor of the Cubs before a serve error puts them back into receive. Then, Tristan Mortimer tied the game by soaring above the net and hitting open court and by blocking a Seahawk. The Cubs and Seahawks went back and forth exchanging kills for many plays before the Seahawks finally benefited from a pair of attack errors on Loyola and regained their lead by two. Loyola tried to slow down the Seahawks but were blocked on the next play, and suddenly they were down 18-15. A timeout by Coach Boehle was called to regroup his troops. Out of the timeout, Will Campbell scored with a bounce and he followed up with an ace to narrow the Redondo lead to a point. A few plays later, Luke Turner ignited the Loyola bench with a block to tie the game at 19. Both teams fought with all their energy, but the Seahawks let their lead slip when they gave up an attack error. The Loyola crowd started chanting, “Let’s go Cubs,” and the Cubs refused to let the game go into a fifth set. Luke Turner put the Cubs one point away from a semi-finals matchup with a ferocious hit that went untouched on the Seahawks side of the court. With Luke Turner to serve, the Cubs tried to seal the game, but Redondo would not give up and got a block to make the score 24-23. However, Luke Turner proved too much of an opponent for the Seahawks and he ended their season with a tool that gave the Cubs the win.
Loyola Wins 3-1