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Capistrano Valley Gains Its First Volleyball Final


DANA POINT — Wednesday night's Southern Section Division I boys' volleyball playoff match will go down in the history books at Capistrano Valley High School.

By defeating fourth-seeded Laguna Beach, 15-2, 15-11, 15-13, at Dana Hills High, top-seeded Capistrano Valley advanced to the finals for the first time.

Capistrano Valley (20-0) will play third-seeded Huntington Beach (22-0), which defeated second-seeded Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (21-1) in four games, for the championship Saturday at Cerritos College.

"The hardest part is getting there," Capistrano Valley Coach Ken Goldstone said. "The key is to stay sharp and not tire out. We try to sub a lot to keep the guys fresh."

Leading, 13-12, in the final game and not wanting to see a fourth, Goldstone called a timeout to tell his players to "push for the point, be ready and expect it (the ball) to come to you."

At 13-13 in Game 3, senior outside hitter and co-captain Aaron Garcia served out the game and the match with a spike off the block from Evan Alexander, followed by a stuffed block by Alexander and Bryan Mayes.

Garcia set Steve Thornton, who led the Cougars with 19 kills, seven digs and two blocks, to keep Capistrano Valley in the first of the two points.

Playing in the filled-to-capacity gym didn't seem to affect Capistrano Valley, which took a 7-0 lead in the first game after siding out three times. Garcia, who had 15 kills, six digs and two blocks, got the sideout at 12-2 and served out the game when middle blocker Mike Dalton drove a kill down the middle.

Middle blocker Eric Seiffert, who sparked the Cougars emotionally and had Capistrano Valley fans chanting his name throughout the match, added 18 kills, seven digs and five blocks.

Laguna Beach (17-3), which hadn't appeared in the semifinals since 1986, suffered its only other losses this season to Huntington Beach and Capistrano Valley.

The Artists were without starting outside hitter Dan Styles, who did not play because of illness.

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