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Granite Bay pounds Jesuit, hosts big volleyball tournament today

By: Brett Ransford/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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The shooting range was open in the Granite Bay High School gym Thursday night.

A perennial match against Jesuit was the Grizzlies’ latest in a 6-0 nonleague start to the boys volleyball season. Five Granite Bay players had at least four kills, and senior captain and setter Jake Neptune passed 32 assists to lead his team to a 25-10, 25-15, 25-22 sweep of the Marauders.

It took the Grizzlies less than an hour to drop rival Jesuit (5-2), normally a postseason power in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.

Outside hitter Greg Smith banged 11 kills for the Grizzlies. Matt Austin, Carson Odegard and Alec Naki put down five kills each, and Bryan Berry dropped another four.

An All-SFL player last season, Neptune said he knew coming off a win over NorCal No.1 ranked San Jose-Bellarmine would present a challenge playing down to Jesuit.

“The biggest deal is always getting everybody focused for matches, even if it’s not the best competition,” Neptune said. “We try to do that by getting some energy and getting our heads in the game.”

The Grizzlies could see the Marauders again today, when Granite Bay welcomes 16 of Northern California’s best teams for the 12th annual Brian Nolan Varsity Invitational.

ESPN Rise’s Fab 50 rankings have Granite Bay at No. 38. The Grizzlies will play host to No. 23 Concord-De La Salle, No. 40 Mountain View-St. Francis, which touts 6-foot-7 USA Youth National Team setter James Shaw, and No. 50 San Francisco-St. Ignatius.

The tournament also includes Nevada Union, Rocklin, Clovis and Los Gatos. A second flight of teams will play at Del Oro.

“We’re really excited, proud and honored that teams think we run things the right way and treat everyone with respect,” Granite Bay coach Bruce Honberger said. “It’s a lot of playing and not a lot of sitting. I love the fact that we have the best three Sacramento-area teams playing the best three Bay Area teams.”