SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — For the St. Margaret’s boys volleyball team, the third time was the charm.
After losing twice to Capistrano Valley Christian during the regular season, St. Margaret’s turned things around Saturday night and swept the top–seeded Eagles 25-20, 25-23, 25-18 in the CIF-SS Division 4 final at St. Margaret’s.
It is the first CIF-SS boys volleyball title for the Tartans (23-8) in 10 seasons.
“We played better than them,” St. Margaret’s outside hitter Reed Wainwright said of their San Joaquin League rival. “We had better team chemistry. We definitely got close the first two times, but I just think it had to take the third time to get them.”
The Tartans got off to a good start Saturday in the opening set, taking a lead before Capistrano Valley Christian (28-9) put together a run and tied the score. St. Margaret’s eventually won the first set thanks in large part to Wainwright, who finished the match with 14 kills.
St. Margaret’s held an 8-5 lead in the second set before the Eagles went on a 10-0 run to take a 15-8 lead. That forced St. Margaret’s coach Bob Yoder to call a timeout.
The Tartans dominated the rest of the set, outscoring the Eagles the rest of the way for a two-point victory that game them a 2-0 lead in the match.
“I just told them we have to trust in our game,” Yoder said. “We have to be patient. These guys beat us in five sets, winning the last three games, so we know they’re not going away. They’re an experienced team. We just have to be willing to play longer than they do.”
The Tartans were in control in the third set and finished the match with a kill from Wainwright.
Kai Taylor led Capo Valley Christian with 14 kills while Andrew Sheveland added 13 kills.
“I’m proud of my boys,” Capistrano Valley Christian coach Ryan Van Rensselear said. “Not the matchup you wanted to come out with a goose egg, but we had to battle all kinds of adversity. Our guys have amazing character. We just had so many holes we’re trying to plug. There’s just so much you can do.
“We’ve played them twice already in two really good matches. We knew exactly what to do, but we just couldn’t execute.”
Drew Reinkensmeyer had 12 kills for the Tartans, who fielded a team with no seniors this season.
“It feels great,” Yoder said of winning the CIF title. “I’m loving it. It doesn’t always happen, so we have to enjoy this.”