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Grizzlies, Vikings reach section volleyball tournament

Playoffs open Thursday night
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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They are two boys volleyball teams on opposite ends of the expectations game.

 

Defending section champion Granite Bay enters the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs carrying the label of the favorite. The Grizzlies won last year’s inaugural section championship tournament, and with a new crop of stars, have continued to dominate in 2010.

 

At nearby Oakmont High School, first-year head coach Levalasi Key is building a program from the ground up. The Vikings earned third place in the south division of the Sierra Foothill League, and with it, a spot in this year’s postseason extravaganza.

 

“We have already exceeded our own expectation of doubling our record from last season,” Key said. “I am extremely impressed with the work ethic and commitment my team has made by improving individual and team skills.”

 

The rest, for Oakmont, is playing with house money. The pressure is off and the opportunity is there for this team to catch someone by surprise.

 

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, will not be shocking anyone. They are guaranteed to get the best effort of each and every opponent. Led by league co-MVP Mason Jaynes, Granite Bay has a strong core.

 

Scotty Santor, Tom Patterson and Tyler Towery all played their way to first team all-league honors as the Grizzlies rolled to the SFL North crown and earned a first-round bye in the tournament. They will face the winner of an opening round game between

Monterey Trail and Union Mine, two teams who finished third in their own leagues.

That opener for the Grizzlies comes next Tuesday in Granite Bay.

 

Jesuit may be the first test for Granite Bay in its second game, but last year’s nemesis, Nevada Union, has taken a small step back and been replaced by another SFL South team, Rocklin.

 

“The favorites to win in my opinion would be Rocklin or Granite Bay,” Key said. “Both are extremely solid teams with experience, but you never know who will shine and meet the challenge set forth in the playoffs.”

 

Oakmont will open at home at 7 p.m. Thursday night against Delta Valley Conference No. 3 Laguna Creek, a team the Vikings do not know much about.

 

“We did play a few teams in the DVC league during preseason and can somewhat judge what we are up against partly based on how we each played against the same opponents,” Key said. “I look forward to the challenge of the unknown and am confident that my team will be able to adjust to whatever comes their way.”

 

The Vikings do not have a long list of all-leaguers, but they will lean on a strong group of seniors and an improving roster of contributors.

 

“Our seniors - Nate Grady, Dylan Baldwin and Alex Ford - provide powerful hitting and solid blocking,” Key said. “Tim Cook is a versatile and smart setter, outside and opposite when called upon to fill any of these positions. Our libero, Travis Coleman, has stepped up his passing game in the pass three weeks and has proven how valuable he can be to the team.”

 

An Oakmont win would send the Vikings to Sierra Valley Conference champion Oak Ridge in round two Tuesday. The tournament concludes with the title game May 27 at Jesuit.

 

 

FYI:

All- SFL boys volleyball 2010

Co-MVP:

Mason Jaynes, Granite Bay     

Braxton Dunstone, Rocklin                                   

 

First Team All League:

JJ Sekerak, Nevada Union

Peter McDonald, Nevada Union

Tyler MacKanin, Rocklin

Grant Curry, Rocklin

Brenden Lewis, Placer

Cameron Deatherage, Woodcreek

Chris Adams, Whitney

Scotty Santor, Granite Bay

Tom Patterson, Granite Bay

Tyler Towery, Granite Bay

Kyle Russell, Del Oro

Shane Plummer, Del Oro

 

Second Team All League:

Garrick Monaghan, Granite Bay

Jacob Williams, Woodcreek

Marc Van Camp, Rocklin

Grant Wilson, Rocklin

Matt Laughrea, Rocklin

Addison Wolfe, Nevada Union

Jeff Baldock, Nevada Union

Nathaniel Grady, Oakmont

Connor McKenzie, Placer

Brayden Giacomimy, Bear River

Brody Cord, Del Oro

Clay Cosbie, Del Oro

 

Honorable Mention All League:

James Vaterlaus, Woodcreek

Sean Reaside, Rocklin

Dorian Rohlfes, Rocklin

Reed Allyn, Rocklin

Paris Hale, Nevada Union

Troy Bowser, Whitney

Josh Smith, Bear River

Tim Cook, Oakmont

Dane Smith, Del Oro

David Bittner, Granite Bay

Kyle Howarth, Granite Bay

Tyler Menard, Granite Bay