The last three Moore League boys’ volleyball championships have been won by three different teams: Wilson, Poly, and Lakewood. This year it’s anyone’s guess who’ll be in the driver’s seat, with a steadily-improving Millikan team joining the fray as well. St. Anthony is poised for a CIF run and feature one of the area’s top talents in Aidan Grosz, a junior who’s a verbal commit to Long Beach State.
In the Moore League, the Lancers would be the preseason favorite. Lakewood is ranked No. 2 in the CIF Division 2 poll and boast a pair of studs in Teilon Tufuga and Kyler Tufuga, the brother and cousin of former Lakewood stud and BYU sophomore Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga.
“We have no real expectations we just want to keep getting better,” said Lakewood coach Devon Taylor.
Other key contributors for the Lancers include Daniel Wright and new middle Beaukalani Tiedemann. A third Tufuga, Kameron Tufuga, will keep the Lakewood team feeling like a family—three of the team’s 10 roster players share a family tree.
Wilson coach Jeremy Cook, a math teacher on campus, led the Bruins to their first Moore League title since 2009 last year. Wilson graduated their top six players and is trying to put together a title-contending team without much experience.
“We’re pretty talented but they lack varsity experience,” said Cook. “We’re hoping that they’ve played enough that they’ve got the experience to take the next step in league.”
The Bruins are led by returning all-league middle blocker Dylan Herrera, as well as a freshman setter (Payne Lounsbery) with a bright future. Lounsbury shares the task of running the offense with Jack White, with Josh Lambert leading the team in kills.
Long Beach Poly is coached by Vuthy Cheav, who takes the reins of a Jackrabbits team facing the impossible task of replacing Sam Lewis, a youth national team member who’s now at USC.
The Jackrabbits won the league title in 2016 but will need two-sport athletes like football lineman Aaron Frost to have big seasons to accomplish that feat again.
St. Anthony is once again led by Alicia Lemau’u, a sixth-season coach who took the Saints’ girls team to a CIF title two years ago. The Saints’ boys’ team has remained the same the last few years with a young core roster that’s gotten better each year, led by junior Long Beach State commit Aidan Grosz, a 6’5” middle who can pass the ball as well.
“He’s a leader on and off the court,” said Lemau’u. “This team is growing up emotionally and physically, they’re playing really well together.”
The Saints started the season 7-1 and are ranked No. 7 in CIF-SS Division 4.
Other key contributors are Nicky Mizraji and Eamon Pool-Harris, along with senior setter Nick Aguilar.