It was the wild end to the Moore League volleyball season that many expected, but after the dust settled it was the Lakewood Lancers, a varsity team with only two bench players, that were crowned league champions. It’s the second consecutive title for the Lancers and third in the last five years.
There was a lot of drama still to play out, but Lakewood effectively won the league championship in a five-set win over Wilson, 27-25, 25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 15-10.
The Lancers got a huge match from BYU commit Teilon Tufuga.
“This league championship means everything to us,” said the senior, who had five kills, a block and an ace in the fifth set as well as a 5-0 service run that effectively won it for Lakewood. “We’re a small group, but we love the game and we put the work in. We’ve been through so many long, crazy matches, what was one more?”
The Lancers were used to living on the edge this year, as they were in five-set thrillers almost every week. After their result over Wilson, the Bruins beat Poly in a five set marathon the next week, topping the Jackrabbits 31-29, 21-25, 31-29, 21-25, 15-5.
The Bruins were led by 17 kills from Jeremiah Stevenson, who was injured early in the match against Lakewood. Nick Campbell chipped in 13 kills, and Payne Lounsbery added 10. That win put Lakewood two matches clear of the rest of the league with one match to play, meaning that it didn’t ultimately mean anything when Poly swept the Lancers on the last day of league play. The regular season finished with Lakewood at 10-2, Wilson and Poly tied for second at 9-3, and Millikan in fourth at 8-4. All four will qualify for the CIF-SS playoffs, with the postseason brackets set to be released Friday.
St. Anthony Wins Del Rey
St. Anthony swept Salesian to clinch another Del Rey League championship last week, 25-16, 25-11, 25-13.
“I’m excited for the guys, they deserved it for their work in the preseason,” said Saints coach Alicia Lemau’u. “They’re flowing and playing some good volleyball right now. I know their mindset is a little different this season.”
Eamon Pool-Harris led with 10 kills, Nicky Mizraji had eight kills, and Long Beach State commit Aidan Grosz had four blocks and seven digs.
The Saints will turn their attention to the playoffs, where they are ranked No. 2 in their CIF Southern Section Division.