BVB: Top seeds rule the day at Karch Kiraly TOC


The cream rose to the top after the first day of boys volleyball action at the Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions at Santa Barbara High on Friday.

Loyola, Mira Costa, Corona del Mar and Newbury Park, the top four seeds and Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 7 teams, respectively, in the CIF Division 1 rankings, won two matches and advanced to Saturday’s 10:45 a.m. semifinals.

“The top seeds showed why they’re the top seeds in Division 1,” said Santa Barbara coach and tournament director Chad Arneson. “I want to thank Corona del Mar and their coach Steve Conti for coming back to this tournament and Loyola and their coach Mike Boehle, this is the first time for him coming. I want to give a shout out to those guys for making this tournament that match better and that much stronger.”

Loyola will take on Newbury Park while Mira Costa battles Corona del Mar for spots in the championship match at 6:15 p.m. at J.R. Richards Gym.

Loyola, making its first tournament appearance since 2000, showed its tremendous depth and ball control in whipping Royal in the quarterfinals, 25-15, 25-15, 25-20. Boehle used several players on the day and the Cubs (17-1) never missed a beat.

Royal pulled even at 19-19 in the third set, but Kyle Jasuta ripped a kill to give the Cubs the lead for good. Luke Nassif followed with a high hit off the block. Royal’s powerful middle, 6-7 Branden Oberender, got one point back for the Highlanders before Loyola went on a four-point run to finish the match. Casey McGarry served two aces for the final points.

Boehle was excited to bring his team to the tournament for several reasons.

“Chad and I have had a good relationship for a long time, I respect everything he does; I have a cousin and friends who have gone to school here, I’ve got my two boys up here. It was nice. I know (Chad) runs a really good tournament and there are some good teams. I’m happy to be here and I’m happy we’re getting great competition right now.”

Newbury Park rebounded from a second-set loss against a big Fresno-Buchanan team and won the next two sets to take the match. The scores were 27-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15. The Panthers have an exciting player in left outside hitter Ryne Benson. His incredible vertical jump is impressive to watch.

Corona del Mar is probably the most physical team in the tournament. Augie Miller and Will Hunter dominated the middle, leading the Sea Kings to a 26-24, 24-26, 25-13, 25-20 win over Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals.

“Corona del Mar has one of the best middle attacks we’ve seen in a long time,” said Arneson.

Tournament host Santa Barbara High got off to a

Tournament host Santa Barbara High got off to a 1-1 start on Friday.

The Dons fought hard and took the second game from the Sea Kings. The winning point came on big solo block by Blake Kelly. The ball was hit so hard off Kelly’s hands it sailed to the back corner of the Corona del Mar side.

“To get that win in Game 2 was really important,” Arneson said. “Blake Kelly coming in and making a great block, that was solid. He didn’t play the first game, but to make that big block was pretty nice.”

Arneson said the Dons need to be more consistent if they want to beat the upper echelon teams in Division 1.

Mira Costa is one of those upper echelon teams. The Mustangs had their way against Simi Valley, winning 25-15, 25-11, 25-18. A highlight in the match was an eight-point serving run by Blake Markland in the second set.

In action involving local teams, Dos Pueblos lost a heartbreaking first-round match to Simi Valley in the first round, 25-22, 25-22, 17-25, 15-25 15-13. The Chargers bounced back with a sweep over Buena (25-23, 25-13, 25-21). They will face West Ranch in the consolation semifinals at 10:45 a.m. at San Marcos.

“Simi Valley was a little more steady than us today,” DP coach Ehren Hug said. “They play good ball control volleyball with few errors. John Baxter has his team conditioned to hit the floor and do whatever they can to keep it alive. They are that scrappy team.”

Eli Wopat had 19 kills and Elliot Brainerd 14 kills against Simi Valley.

San Marcos is in the other consolation semifinal against Bellarmine Prep. The Royals lost their tournament opener to Royal (25-22, 25-18, 25-19) and defeated the Dos Pueblos JVs (25-8, 25-16, 25-14).

Santa Barbara defeated West Ranch in its opener. The Dons play Simi Valley in a fifth-place semifinal at 9 a.m.

Friday’s Scores
First Round

Loyola def. Dos Pueblos JV 25-15, 25-15, 25-20
Royal def. San Marcos 25-22, 25-18, 25-19
Buchanan def. Bellarmine Prep 25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 18-25, 15-12
Newbury Park def. Esperanza 25-20, 25-20, 25-17
Corona del Mar def. Santa Ynez 25-16, 25-15, 25-10
Santa Barbara def. West Ranch 26-24, 25-23, 25-12
Simi Valley def. Dos Pueblos 25-22, 25-12, 17-25, 15-25, 15-13
Mira Costa def. Buena 25-9, 22-25, 25-11, 25-8

Loyola def. Royal, 25-15, 25-15, 25-20
Newbury Park def. Buchanan 27-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15
Corona del Mar def. Santa Barbara 26-24, 24-26, 25-13, 25-20
Mira Costa def. Simi Valley 25-15, 25-11, 25-18

San Marcos def. Dos Pueblos JV 25-8, 25-16, 25-14
Bellarmine Prep def. Esperanza 25-22, 25-12, 27-25
West Ranch def Santa Ynez 22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-17, 15-6
Dos Pueblos def. Buena 25-23, 25-13, 25-21