Long Beach State-bound Vinny Pizzuti was an all-tournament selection for the Redondo Union Sea Hawks. Photo by Ray Vidal
With 13 ranked boys volleyball teams competing in the Redondo Preseason Tournament, Sea Hawk head coach Duncan Avery had ample opportunity to evaluate his talented squad.
Despite losing to San Marcos 25-21, 25-22 in the championship match on Saturday, Avery was optimistic about his team’s quest for a Bay League and possible Division 1 title.
Redondo is ranked No. 4 in the CIF Division 1 pre-season poll and San Marcos in No. 3 in Division 2.
“It was a good test for our guys,” Avery said. “Matches are won with the cornerstones of the game – serving and passing. San Marcos was better than on us on that day.”
After sweeping Calabasas, Torrance and San Gabriel in Friday’s pool play, Redondo defeated Granada Hills 25-14, 25-20, Cathedral (No. 1, Div. 4) 25-12, 25-21 and Esperanza (No. 1, Div. 2) 25-12, 25-14 to reach the championship match.
The Sea Hawks were led by All-Tournament selections Louis Richard and Vinny Pizzuti. Richard recorded 43 kills, eight aces and nine blocks on Saturday and Pizzuti added 39 kills, eight aces and 19 digs.
Tyler Bird posted 95 assists and 11 digs and Tyler Saxton contributed seven kills and seven blocks.
“We’re looking for more balance so defenses can’t key on Louis and Vinny,” Avery said. “But we’re in a unique situation. We have two 6-foo7 transfers who will join the team after April 7 so we will have a vastly different team when Bay League competition rolls around.”
Redondo continued its demanding non-league schedule on Tuesday hosting Division 1 adversary Mater Dei on Tuesday. The Sea Hawks will host Bishop Montgomery (No. 2, Div. 4) next Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. before home matches with Servite on Thursday, Mar. 20 and Loyola (No. 2, Div. 1) on Saturday, Mar. 22.
While Redondo continues to perform in Sea Hawk Pavilion, rival Mira Costa is taking its game on the road.
Head Coach Sean Shoptaw’s Mustangs are ranked No. 3 in the Division 1 poll and opened the season with an impressive 25-21, 25-15, 25-21 win over visiting Santa Barbara (No. 2, Div. 2).
Sophomore outside hitter Roy McFarland led Mira Costa with 12 kills and senior opposite hitter Connor Inlow had eight kills in the win.
After a road match at Orange Lutheran on Tuesday, Mira Costa will play in the prestigious Best of the West tournament in Poway tomorrow and Saturday.
On Tuesday, the Mustangs will travel to Newport Harbor for another non-league contest.