In a battle of unbeaten teams, Redondo Union swept Dana Hills 3-0 to capture the inaugural boys Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (IBVL) championship held at Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.
Winners of the Coastal Division, the Sea Hawks finished the two-month season with a 9-0 meet record while losing only one match out of 28 played among the league’s 18 teams.
Redondo reached the championship match after defeating San Clemente while Mountain Division champion Dana Hills knocked off Mira Costa in its semifinal match.
Division runners-up Mira Costa and San Clemente tied for third place.
In quarterfinal action, Redondo defeated Marina, Dana Hills beat Palisades Charter, Mira Costa eliminated Saddleback Valley Christian School and San Clemente knocked off Santa Barbara.
Redondo’s team included the pairings of Louis Richard and Devon Burki, Tanner Smith and Eric Beranek, and Tyler Bird and freshman Logan Glave, who filled in for senior Vinny Pizzuti in the final two meets and championship rounds. Rounding out the varsity squad were Wes Graves and Logan Gehman. Coaching the Sea Hawks were Dale Smith and Corey Glave.
“Winning the championship the way we did was an incredible experience,” Coach Dale Smith said. “We were tested time and time again against stiff competition. The boys had a goal which would take them where no high school has been yet, met it and it will be a hard act to follow.”
Smith said the players practiced a couple times each week on a voluntary basis as schedules would permit. Program Director Duncan Avery, who is also head coach for Redondo’s indoor boys team, has his teams on the beach twice a week – one day on the courts and the other performing plyometrics under the supervision of Troll Subin from The Yard gym in Hermosa Beach.
“Probably a big reason for this team’s success would be the time five of the big six, I’ll call them, started drilling and scrimmaging with myself and their fathers four years ago at 8th Street in Hermosa Beach,” Smith said. “Those five then played with each other in many AAU, CBVA and adult tournaments. Four of the big six have “A” adult ratings and the other two are currently ”B” rated players.
“I appreciate the administration at Redondo Union for providing the forum for these kids to perform. My personal thanks goes to Duncan Avery for asking me to coach this team, fulfilling a small dream some of us had four years ago.”
Redondo Union also won the Coastal Junior Varsity Division edging out Santa Barbara by a half game. Bay League rivals Mira Costa and Palos Verdes also fielded junior varsity teams.
The IBVL is a program of the Southern Pacific Volleyball Committee, a district sports committee of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States, Inc. in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors.
The league consists of three pairs of doubles teams to form a school’s varsity or JV squad. Each school competes against another school’s pairs of three teams, in order of rank, to determine the dual match winners.
The boys’ league has followed the success of the girls’ league which began in 2012 with eight schools and quickly expanded to 30 schools last spring with Mira Costa being crowned champion after finishing second in 2012.
For more information, visit ibvl.org.