Locals Evans, Newton lead SBCC spikers to consolation title

Sophomore opposite Miles Evans pounded 49 kills in six matches on Saturday and Jon Newton added 23 kills and a .536 hitting percentage as SBCC rallied to beat Grossmont 31-29 for the consolation title of the Long Beach men’s volleyball tournament.

Justin Hertlein, a 6-4 freshman from Castro Valley, collected 33 kills in 11 sets for the Vaqueros, who beat Utah Valley 30-22, Golden West 30-26 and Grossmont in the playoffs after going 0-3 in pool play. SBCC opened the day with a 30-18, 31-29 loss to Irvine Valley, then dropped a pair of tight matches to defending state champion Long Beach (30-28, 23-30, 15-12) and Santa Monica (23-30, 30-27, 16-14).

“We got better as the day went on,” said coach Melody Parker, whose team rallied from an 11-3 deficit in the consolation final. “Our middles did really well and I was pleased to see our hitting percentage go up from last week (in a scrimmage tournament at Palomar).”

Cody Zoesch, a 6-8 freshman from Dos Pueblos High, added 16 kills and a .323 hitting percentage. Parker praised the play of libero Andrew Thomason (43 digs) and setter Kaahukane Leite-AhYo (94 assists).

SBCC will play two best-of-five matches on Saturday at Santa Monica.