Thursday, August 4, 2022

Tesoro Boys Volleyball beats Servite in five sets to reach Division 2 final

COSTA MESA >> Competing among friends can be a fun but difficult task.

The Titans came out on top in a battle that pitted two colleagues — Tesoro’s men’s volleyball coach Pat Eaton and Servite coach Matt Marrujo — and their respective programs against each other.

Tesoro defeated top-seeded Friars in five sets 23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15 in Friday night’s CIF-SS Division 2 final at Orange Coast College -8.

  • Tesoro’s Emmanuel Wandji (left) and Rex Smith (right) are mobbed by fans after winning the CIF-SS Division 2 Men’s Volleyball Championship Friday, May 13, 2022, at Servite in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Kaumana Carreira of Tesolo celebrates the Titans’ CIF-SS Division 2 Men’s Volleyball Championship win against Servite in Costa Mesa on Friday, May 13, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Servite's Riley Rosenkranz rejects Tesoro's Nathan's shot...

    Servite’s Riley Rosenkranz (right) rejects a shot from Tesoro’s Nathan Draper (left) during the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball tournament on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Servite's Josef Mitts, right, taps the ball over Tesoro's Jase...

    Servite’s Josef Mitts (right) hits the ball over Tesoro’s Jase Fukushima (left) during the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball tournament on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tesoro's Kaumana Carreira, center, yells after scoring...

    Tesoro center Kaumana Carreira shouts after scoring against Servite during the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball tournament on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tesoro's Rex Smith dives to scoop the ball out...

    Tesoro’s Rex Smith dives against Servite during the CIF-SS Division 2 Men’s Volleyball Championship on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Servite's center Jack Morikawa shoots past Tesoro's Kaumana...

    Servite’s Jack Morikawa (center) shoots at Tesoro’s Kaumana Carreira (left) and Emmanuel Wandji (right) during the CIF-SS Division 2 Men’s Volleyball Championship Friday, May 13, 2022, in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Servite's Christian Aguilar (left) and Josef Mitts (center) couldn't stop...

    Servite’s Christian Aguilar (left) and Josef Mitts (center) cannot block a shot from Tesoro’s Kaumana Carreira (right) during the CIF-SS Division 2 Men’s Volleyball Championship on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tesoro's Kaumana Carreira was able to hit the ball back...

    Tesoro’s Kaumana Carreira is able to hit the ball back into the net against Servite in the CIF-SS Division 2 Men’s Volleyball Championship on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Servite's Kevin Windisch, yes, cheering his team up...

    Servite’s Kevin Windisch (right) gets his team excited as he celebrates a goal against Tesoro during the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball tournament on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tesoro players react after their teammates score against Servite...

    Teammates of Tesoro players react after scoring against Servite during the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball tournament in Costa Mesa, Friday, May 13, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dylan Patton (17) of Tesoro at...

    Tesoro’s Dylan Patton (17) starts celebrating with teammates after the Titans win the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball championship on Friday, May 13, 2022, at Servite in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tesoro's Dylan Patton jumps for joy after Titans win...

    Tesoro’s Dylan Patton jumps for joy after the Titans win the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball championship in Costa Mesa on Friday, May 13, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Kevin Windisch of Servite, right, walks up to Josef Mitts...

    Servite’s Kevin Windisch (right) serves Tesoro in front of Josef Mitts (2) during the CIF-SS Division 2 men’s volleyball tournament on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Longtime friends and club coaches from Balboa Bay Volleyball Club are both making their first appearance at the CIF Championship.

“It’s all love,” Eaton said. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with Marrujo, he’s a great example of sportsmanship and fighting for his players, so it’s no surprise that his kids play with the same firepower and tenacity.”

“You love coaching with your buddies,” Eaton added, “but at the same time you hate knowing that only one of you is going to win. This year happens to be us.”

Sophomore perimeter hitter Kaumana Carreira led the Titans with 26 kills, while junior opposite Nathan Draper led the Titans with 13 kills.

“Sometimes it’s good to be young in these situations,” Eaton said of Carrera. “Sometimes he’s swimming in deeper waters than I think he knows, but he’s such a special player, he can do things you can’t really teach in the gym, and when we need him most, he’s there for us. We came forward.”

The Friars (28-11) trailed 20-16 in the first set, but continued with a 25-23 steal thanks to solid efforts from Eamon Rigdon and Jack Morikawa.

Tesoro (19-7) fought back hard with mid-blockers Emmanuel Wanji and Dylan Barton in the next two sets, both ending with back-to-back kills by Carrera, and the Titans ended up with 2-1 lead.

Servite would go on to force the fifth set, but Tesoro was able to make the necessary play to end the game.

“Tesoro is a top-notch program, they’re well-trained, and we know it’s going to be a battle,” Marrujo said. “Even though it stings, I know we tried our best and we played great volleyball.”

Eaton’s respect for Marrujo and the Friars kept him on edge until the final points of the game.

“We knew they were going to keep coming, we knew that from playing Servite last year. Matt Maruccio did a really good job with his guys, they were tough and they never gave up,” Eaton said. “If you talk about culture, Servite has such a great culture and we’re trying to get to that point, but just fighting with them on the pitch like this is special and we’ve done a great job of that.”

US News.

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