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Senior-heavy Oakmont fights to finish in loss to Bear River

Granite Bay aces out Oak Ridge 3-0 in Division I volleyball quarterfinals
By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Oakmont High School’s boys volleyball team put up a fight but fell to visiting Bear River 3-1 on Thursday night in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

Nick McCue led the Vikings with 16 kills and made a spectacular diving play to keep the ball alive, sparking Oakmont to an 11-7 lead in the third set.

The Vikings went on to win the final four points of the set but lost to the Bruins 27-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-14.

“I think they just knew it was kind of their last chance,” Oakmont coach Levalasi Key said. “They rallied together as a team and were more consistent.”

But for the rest of the match, Bear River’s army of tall, powerful players was too much for the undersized, gritty Vikings. Bear River won the kills battle 44-37, led by 11 apiece from Nathan Mansuetti and Justin Beskeen.

Oakmont bids farewell to nine seniors of 11 total players.

“The thing I’m going to miss most is the personalities, the seniors that will be gone,” Key said. “We had all shared a special bond. That’s really what made our season.”

Granite Bay 3, Oak Ridge 0 — Eliminated by the Trojans in the Division I quarterfinals last season, the Grizzlies (28-7) piled up service aces in each set of a 25-15, 25-16, 25-20 victory Thursday night.

Granite Bay will play host to Sierra Foothill League rival Nevada Union at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a semifinal. The Miners beat Grant 3-0 in a quarterfinal.

Jacob Ball served two aces in the first set, including the final point. Jarred Oliveira served two aces during a five-point run in the second set, and Carson Odegard, Alec Naki and Jake Neptune combined for five aces in the final set.

“They beat us last year so we were out for revenge,” Grizzlies coach Bruce Honberger said. “I am proud of the way our team played.”

~ Staff reports contributed.