By Luke Minck
The varsity volleyball team, under the leadership of head coach Michael Boehle ‘84, beat Corona del Mar (CDM) in the CIF Southern Section Championship on May 21. The team’s 19-game winning streak ended with a loss to Mira Costa at home on May 26 in the SoCal Regionals, concluding the Cubs’ season with an overall record of 29-3.
In the Cubs’ CIF Championship game against CDM at Cerritos College, the Cubs won the first two sets with scores of 25-14 and 25-20, respectively. Boehle said, “I was pleasantly surprised that we won the first two sets so easily. Going into the third set, I told the guys that this team has been down 2-0 before in the playoffs, and they would come back with everything they got, so we need to be ready for that.”
In the third set, CDM defeated Loyola by a score of 25-17. After CDM won the fourth set by a score 33-31, Boehle said he was somewhat frustrated with the numerous amount of opportunities his team didn’t take advantage of to win that set. Boehle said, “The fourth set was probably the most exciting set of volleyball that I’ve ever been involved in. There were 24 ties, and we had three swings to put them away; yet, unfortunately, we just couldn’t get it done.”
At the conclusion of the fifth and final set, the Cubs defeated CDM by a score of 15-12. Senior middle blocker Jack Truman believes his confidence in the fifth game was rooted in the energy on the court. Truman said, “My emotions during the fifth game were a mixture of nervousness and confidence. I was nervous to be playing in that big of a game, but I am very proud to say that our team came out on top.”
In a close match, the Cubs beat CDM to clinch the CIF Southern Section Title. Truman feels that becoming CIF Champions was the perfect way to end his Loyola career. He said, “Winning CIF as a senior was a dream come true. Our team had been working hard all season to get to the finals and our work paid off, as we won the championship game. Winning CIF as a senior was a great finale to my career at Loyola, and it truly brought me closer to my fellow teammates.”
After winning CIF, the Cubs moved on to compete in the SoCal Regionals, which combines the top eight teams from CIF competition to compete for a regional championship. Being the top seed, the Cubs played the eighth seed El Camino Real on Tuesday, May 24, at Loyola. The Cubs defeated Camino Real in three straight games with scores of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-18.
Moving on to the semi-finals, the Cubs played fifth seed Mira Costa on Thursday, May 26, at Loyola. In the two regular season games against Mira Costa, the Cubs won one game and lost one game.
In their most recent meeting on May 26, the Cubs started off losing both of their first two sets with a score of 25-18 both games. Even though the Cubs were threatened by elimination in set three, they came back and won the next two sets with scores 25-20 and 25-23.
The fifth set was close until Mira Costa scored three consecutive points giving them a commanding lead over the Cubs. The volleyball team’s season ended with a 15-11 loss in the final set.
Junior outside hitter J.P. Reilly believes that the SoCal Regionals is not as significant as their CIF Championship. Reilly said, “SoCal Regionals is a great opportunity to keep on winning. The CIF championship was definitely the highlight of our season. SoCal Regionals is definitely more about enjoying and valuing our last week of Loyola volleyball, especially for the seniors.”
The Cubs finished the season being CIF Champs with an overall record of 29-3.