Granite Bay dominates Nolan Invitational volleyball
Granite Bay High School’s boys volleyball program has played host to the Brian Nolan Varsity Invitational for 12 years.
The Grizzlies owned the event Saturday.
Granite Bay, ranked 38th in the ESPN Rise Fab 50, defeated San Francisco-St. Ignatius 25-19, 25-20 for the championship behind tournament Most Valuable Player Jake Neptune and all-tournament selections Alec Naki and Carson Odegard.
Large-school pools were held at Granite Bay and Oakmont. After tuning up for the 28-team tournament with a 25-14, 25-20, 25-17 win over Clovis on Friday, the Grizzlies topped Whitney 2-1, Foothill 2-0 and Los Gatos 2-0 to capture their pool Saturday. Granite Bay (15-4) swept Nevada Union and Rocklin in the quarterfinals and semifinals before capping its 6-0 day with the win over St. Ignatius.
Naki and Jacob Ball had serving runs of five and four points in the first set to send the Grizzlies to the championship.
“This was the best I have had a team play in a long time,” Granite Bay coach Bruce Honberger said. “Our serving and ball control was outstanding.”
Meanwhile, at Del Oro, the Grizzlies’ JV team filled a late vacancy in the tournament’s small-schools division and won that title, too.
Granite Bay defeated Florin, Rio Americano and Capital Christian in pool play before beating Del Oro 31-29, 25-18 in the semifinals and Placer 25-22, 25-13 in the final.
Grizzlies libero Wyatt Salinas was named tournament MVP on the strength of his defensive passing and serving. Brandon Freitas, Jesse Gavia and middles John Hayes and Trevor Brake led the way up front.
“The growth of the boys showed how they were able to fight and win the close matches,” Granite Bay coach Brian Ball said. “They came up strong when they needed to, and that’s what took them to the finals and the championship.”
The JV Grizzlies’ foray into varsity competition occurred March 10 at the UC Davis tournament, where they won their pool and a crossover match.