Grizzlies spike Ponderosa, will defend section title

Rocklin is up next in the finale at Jesuit High
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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For the second straight season, the Sac-Joaquin Section boys volleyball final will be a clash of the Sierra Foothill League volleyball titans. Granite Bay (23-8) stepped over the Ponderosa Bruins (22-8) in the semifinal round on their quest for another section championship. In a three-game sweep, the Grizzlies ushered themselves one game closer to a repeat title as each game showcased more Grizzly prowess in a 25-22, 25-19, 25-14 final tally. Some fantastic assists allowed setter Mason Jaynes to prove his role in his team’s season goal. As the postseason progresses, Jaynes has been the pen connecting the dots for the Grizzlies. He nearly led three different categories as the set-up man to his outside hitting. He finished with 15 assists, eight kills, four digs and three blocks. “We come out here and it’s all about business and we get work done,” Jaynes said. “Ponderosa put too much of their emotions into this game which hindered their playing ability. When I’m going up I see out of the corner of my eye that their middles have gone to the outside or behind me, so wherever they went I just hit the opposite.” As long as Jaynes was quick setting or posting across court for his teammates the Grizzlies didn’t give up one single lead outside the opening points of each game. The hitting crew of Granite Bay benefited from Tyler Towery’s nine digs and countless point saves. Scotty Santor, Tom Patterson and Jaynes were the main recipients of fluid passing among their team. Patterson matched Jaynes with eight kills and Santor led both teams with nine kills while adding two assists. “I felt like our middles were better than their middles so I had a hole in the block I was able to consistently hit,” Santor said. “We had better passes than they did. A good pass leads to a good set which leads to a good hit.” Other contributions for Granite Bay came from Tyler Menard with 11 assists. Garrick Monaghan had three blocks and two assists. The Grizzlies scorched 38 total kills against the Bruins. Winning all three of their playoff contests in the minimum number of games possible gives Granite Bay coach Bruce Honberger has every reason to feel confident. “We knew Ponderosa was a one-man show so we felt if we could control him that in the long run our strengths would win out,” Honberger said. “We’re very well-rounded and good at every position so there were lots of positions tonight where he had advantages. As long as we play well and serve and pass well we felt we would control it easily which we did.” Looking ahead to the finals, the Grizzlies are understandably very comfortable. Granite Bay will take on a familiar foe from the Sierra Foothill League, Rocklin. The Thunder passed Oak Ridge 3-1 in their semifinal game Tuesday night and move on to face Granite Bay at Jesuit High School at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. In the only meeting of the year between the two teams, the Grizzlies retired Rocklin 3-0, just as they did every other SFL opponent. A year ago, it was SFL rival Nevada Union that reached the final, a five-game thriller in which the Grizzlies had to come from behind. “Rocklin is very well-rounded so I expect it to be another battle like last year,” Honberger said. “This is right where we were last year expecting to go to playoffs, expecting to go to the section final and not really knowing what was going to happen. So where we are is we’re glad to be here and glad to be part of it.”