BVB: Laguna battles its way to 2nd place at Surf Invite

Laguna Blanca advanced to the finals of the Surf Invitational in Santa Cruz on Saturday and took Central Coast Section Division 1-ranked Aptos to the limit before falling, 22-25, 25-20, 15-7.

“I was so very pleased with our play this weekend,” Laguna coach Dillan Bennett said. “Our team faced a tremendous amount of adversity during the tournament. I think in the six years I have been coaching at Laguna, this was one of the toughest events we have played in, and it was a great time of the season to have that opportunity to get the best out of our team in tough situations.”

The Owls dug deep to pull out a three-set semifinal win over Harker. “We found ourselves down 1-0 in the match, with very little energy at 10-15 (in the second set). We found a second wind and won the second set 25-22.”

In the third set, Laguna was down 13-14 and 14-15. Harker missed serves on both occasions and the Owls closed out the match with a block and a kill, winning 17-15.

Laguna defeated second-seeded Mt. Madonna in three sets to open the tournament. “After winning that match, we solidified out position in the Gold Division, so we mixed up the lineup for our match against Palma, which we lost in three long sets,” said Bennett. “We played a total of 14 sets, winning 8 of 14 — 3-2 in matches.”

Chris Costantino led the Owls attack with 37 kills on the day, while Jack Copeland had 25 and Philip Fauntleroy 22. Ryan Bickett had a double-double with 34 digs and 19 kills. Pierce O’Donnell led the defense with 76 digs.

Laguna improves to 16-7 on the season. The Owls, ranked third in Division 5, host Santa Ynez, the No. 2-ranked team in Division 4, on Wednesday at 5 p.m.