St. Anthony Volleyball
St. Anthony Volleyball

CIF Volleyball: St. Anthony Makes History With Semifinal Appearance

This Wednesday in their home gym, St. Anthony’s boys’ volleyball team will host Los Altos in the CIF-SS Division 4 semifinals. The 6 p.m. start time for the Saints will be a historic moment–it’s the first time that St. Anthony’s boys team has made a semifinals appearance. The No. 2 seeded Saints will have a real chance to make the championship game, too, as they host No. 2 Los Altos.

If they win, they’d play in the CIF-SS title game on Saturday, which would be a special moment for the entire city. Two Saturdays ago, Long Beach City College won the state championship, and last Saturday, Long Beach State won the NCAA title; a Saints win this week could give the city a chance to win a third men’s volleyball championship at a third level this Spring.

“The history part hasn’t really hit yet, I’m sure it’ll sink in at some point,” said St. Anthony coach Alicia Lemau’u. “We’re still chasing and hungry. Each round has been so competitive, I’m just so stoked and excited for the semis, especially getting them at home in Long Beach.”

After a sweep to start the playoffs, the Saints had to survive a five-setter in the second round and then a four-setter in the quarterfinals against Perris. They prevailed 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 25-12.

Nicky Mizraji had 16 kills and 12 digs, and Long Beach State commit Aidan Grosz had 14 kills and eight digs. Eamon Pool-Harris had 10 kills, while setter Jakob Aguilar had 38 assists and eight digs.

The quarterfinal win was a difficult evening for Grosz, who had hustle with the coaching staff to get to a television after the match was over, trying to catch as much of the Long Beach State NCAA title tilt on ESPN 2 as possible.

“He wasn’t the happiest with how the dates fell,” said Lemau’u.


Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.