In a match that was anyone's to take, the Laguna Beach boys' volleyball team held late leads in all four sets against San Clemente but it was the visiting Tritons who were able to come out on top of a 26-24, 29-27, 23-25, 25-22 nonleague victory at Dugger Gym.
The Breakers, ranked fifth in CIF Southern Section Division 2, were up on the Tritons, the No. 4 team in Division 1, 24-23 in the first set and serving set point. They held a 24-22 lead in the second set and again were serving set point.
Laguna led, 12-9, and later at 18-17, in the fourth set, but the Tritons rallied to clinch the match.
Senior outside hitter Jack Wyett and sophomore middle blocker Tyler Alter each had 16 kills and senior middle blocker Noah Blanton had 15 kills for the Breakers. Senior setter JP Wollam had 50 assists and eight digs, senior outside hitter Jake Hexberg eight digs, and junior libero Reed Donenfeld had seven digs.
The Breakers, who opened their season with a victory over Newport Harbor March 4, slipped to 1-1 with the defeat.
"It was a weird match for both teams," Laguna Coach Darren Utterback said. "In one respect, it was a high-level volleyball match. We played well, but then, we'd make some odd mistakes.
"The boys played hard but came up short."
The Breakers will take part this weekend in the 39th annual Dos Pueblos Invitational Volleyball Tournament. Thirty teams divided evenly into six pools will compete Saturday for the title at the UC Santa Barbara Events Center.
Pool play begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. The Breakers, who leave by train Friday for Santa Barbara, face Royal in their opening match.
"We'll learn a lot about ourselves this weekend at the tournament," Utterback said. "It will allow us to toy with our lineup a bit and hopefully, we can come out of it with a big weekend."
Laguna last competed in the tournament 2004, and won the tourney title in 1982.
Pool 1: Dos Pueblos; San Luis Obispo; Harvard Westlake; Lancaster; Eagle Rock.
Pool 2: Agoura; Crespi; Mt. Carmel; Hart; Santa Ynez.
Pool 3: Ventura; Bishop Alemany; Capistrano Valley; Santa Fe; Arroyo Grande.
Pool 4: San Marcos; Palisades Charter; St Margaret's; Simi Valley; Rio Mesa.
Pool 5: Highland; Notre Dame; Laguna Beach; Royal; Oxnard.
Pool 6: Buena; Oaks Christian; Saugus; Dos Pueblos 2; Righetti.
Next week, Laguna travels to face Corona del Mar (No. 5, CIF Southern Section Division 1) in a 5:15 p.m. nonleague match Tuesday.
"I think that Corona del Mar, and it's certainly early in the season, might be the toughest team in Orange County," Utterback said. "They have all their kids back from a year ago.
"It should be a fun match. A lot of our boys play club ball with their guys, so most of them know one another."
The Breakers' John Grayden took medalist honors with a 33 score (two-under par) Tuesday but Laguna dropped a 190-210 match to Aliso Niguel at Aliso Viejo Country Club.
Laguna also suffered a 187-226 loss to Capistrano Valley at Marbella Golf Course which dropped the Breakers' record to 0-3.
Coach Scott Finn welcomes back four returning varsity players. The returnees include Grayden and fellow junior, Troy Sullivan, and seniors Tyler Metez, the 2014 team captain, and Spencer Donavan.
Varsity newcomers are sophomores Max Brown and Dylan Kramer, and junior Gavin Blow.
Finn said the prep golf in Orange County is "extremely competitive this year."
"Our team has talent and experience," Finn said. "Our year is going to come down to playing well at the right times. We've had some great individual rounds so far, [but] we need to have everyone play well at the same time."
The Breakers play host to Sage Hill on Monday in a 2:30 p.m. nonleague match at Ben Browns Golf Course. The teams also meet at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Strawberry Farms.
The Breakers picked up their initial victory of the season Monday by defeating visiting JSerra, 12-6.
Laguna's top doubles teams of Alex Duong/Zack Washer swept the Lions, winning each set by a 6-1score. The No. 2 doubles team of Jeff Spitz/Tim Nguyen won two of three (2-6, 6-1, 6-3), as did the No. 3 team of Chad Kanner/Ethan Gee (1-6, 6-2, 6-3).
Ryan Gee, at No. 1 singles, won two of three sets (6-4, 0-6, 6-1), and No. 2 Stuart Webb also won two sets (0-6, 6-3, 6-2).
"Our No. 1 doubles team of Zack Washer and Alex Duong have done exceptionally well, as they have won 11 straight sets after losing their opening set, which says a lot about the maturity of Zack as he is only a freshman," Laguna Coach Don Davis said of the pair which 11-1 overall. "Yet, the biggest surprise is probably Stuart Webb as last season, he was a JV player who was fairly low on the depth chart, and [Monday], he won two singles matches.
"Aside from these individual results, I am very pleased by the team's focus and enthusiasm, and although we have a 1-3 record, I expect this team to mature greatly by CIF, as their attitude is very conducive for improving."
Laguna opens defense of its Orange Coast League title when the Breakers travel on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. match at Saddleback.
The Breakers took second place among eight teams that competed Saturday at the Los Alamitos Coed Relays.
During Laguna's Breakers' season-opening wins March 5 against Pacifica, six Breakers swam to CIF Southern Section automatic cut times: Cameron Karkoska (200 individual medley, 2:00.32); Cara Borkovec (50 free, 25.33; 100 free, 55.34); Lila Vera (50 free, 25.35; 100 backstroke, 1:02.62); Erik Juliusson (200 free, 1:48.00; 100 backstroke, 53.58); Makenzie Fischer (200 free, 2:00.76; 100 free, 56.110; Aria Fischer (500 free, 5:27.89).
The Breakers start their Orange Coast League meet season on Wednesday hosting Calvary Chapel at 3:15 p.m.
Olivia Miller, Hillary Beall (goalie) and Blake Crawley, all of Laguna Beach, are student-athletes at St. Margaret's School. The trio is part of the Tartans' girls' soccer team that won the CIF Southern Section Division 5 championship Saturday by defeating La Canada in double overtime, 1-0, at Corona High.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Boys' volleyball: Laguna Beach (No. 5, Division 2).