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VOLLEYBALL : Roosevelt Boys Win Eastern League Title


Roosevelt High School varsity volleyball coach Ken Maki has done it again.

He guided the girls' team to the City Section 4-A Division semifinals last year, and now the boys have earned the opportunity to walk the playoff path.

Roosevelt defeated Bell 16-14, 15-4, 15-11 Wednesday to capture the Eastern League title.

Roosevelt (9-2, 8-0) will likely be among the top four teams in the City Section 4-A Division playoffs when the seedings are announced Wednesday. Bell (9-3, 6-2) should also make it into the postseason tournament, which starts Friday.

Early on, Bell did not make it easy for Roosevelt. The Eagles used a 10-0 run to jump ahead 12-5 in the first game behind five kills and two blocks by senior Mario Ceja.

"We came out slow, and they came out hard and fast," Maki said.

However, senior Mike Moran, who had eight kills in the game and 16 in the match, rallied Roosevelt to a 16-14 win.

Roosevelt carried its momentum into the second game as Moran and Geovanni Barrajas had three kills each to pace the Roughriders to an easy 15-4 win.

Between the first and second games, "the guys started getting into their groove," Maki said.

Rick Lopez, with six kills and two blocks, and Rudy Ortega, who had 10 kills, led Bell to a quick 6-2 advantage in the third game.

At that point, Richard Castellano, who had eight kills, two blocks and an ace in the game, helped Roosevelt outscore Bell, 13-5.

"My guys stayed up today," Maki said. "And when they're together mentally, they're tough to beat."

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