Grizzlies spike Marauders in D-II volleyball playoffs

Granite Bay moves to section semifinals
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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Thursday night was just another day at the office for the Granite Bay High boys volleyball team. This is just the second year that the Sac-Joaquin Section has held a postseason boys volleyball tournament, and as the defending champions, the Grizzlies are the only team to win that crown. The squad entered the playoffs with every expectation of making it two in a row, and so far the prospects look good. Granite Bay came out strong and dominated the first two games, and despite a hitting a little speed bump in game three, the Grizzlies swept Jesuit 25-17, 25-16, 25-22. The win puts Granite Bay into the section semifinals next Tuesday night against Ponderosa. Mason Jaynes was a setting machine early, and he found numerous targets for his well-placed assists. Scotty Santor, David Bittner, Tom Patterson and Garrick Monghan all took their turns swinging away at the Jesuit defense. After a fairly even start to game one, Jaynes and then Santor put together strings of successful service points to help Granite Bay pull away to win the initial stanza. The second game was much like the first, except the Grizzlies pulled away earlier behind a strong of impressive kills by Santor. They built an 8-4 advantage, then built it to as big as 10 points at 18-8. Kyle Howarth, Taylor Wetzel and Jaynes got involved in hitting winners for Granite Bay in game two. The final game had a different feel as Jesuit took the early lead. The Marauders led by as many as four points a few times, but Granite Bay just kept chipping away. The Grizzlies forced one side-out after another and did not allow Jesuit to extend its service points. With the third game tied 22-22, the Grizzlies finally took the lead for good and never looked back. Monaghan delivered a big kill to level things, and then served out himself, with a pair of aces in the final three points. The final serve of the night was a bending power serve to Jesuit’s back corner that the Marauders chose to let go. It landed inside the line for the game-winner. While Granite Bay did a lot of things right in the contest, it also benefit from a significant number of errors by its opponents. In fact, many of the Jesuit miscues were completely unforced. The Grizzlies will host Ponderosa at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, hoping to reach the section title game that is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Jesuit. The winner of this match will face the winner of Tuesday’s other semifinal between Rocklin and Oak Ridge.