Fri, Apr 06 2012 01:29 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
After starting Mesa League play 2-0 with three-game sweeps of both Bonita Vista and Eastlake, Otay Ranch won its second major tournament of the season by capturing the 20th annual Las Vegas Easter Invitational Tournament this week.
The Mustangs wrapped up play Tuesday with their ninth consecutive victory in the Nevada tourney. Otay Ranch defeated four opponents on Monday and five opponents on Tuesday, including Clovis West (25-14, 26-24) in the semifinals and Phoenix Brophy Prep (25-16, 22-25, 15-10) in the championship game.
“The boys showed a ton of teamwork, character and toughness in the championship match, overcoming cramps, nausea and dehydration,” ORHS coach Tony Fajardo said.
Setter Nick Alegrado was named MVP of the tournament. Outside hitter Jorge Reyes, middle blocker, Frank Herrera and libero J.J. Olaogun were also named to the all-tournament team.
Fajardo noted that Jared Arias and Andrew Freiha also turned in performances worthy of making the all-tournament team. “All of these awards are made possible by their individual efforts and because they are surrounded by a team loaded with very good players at all positions,” the ORHS coach said.
The Mustangs, who are currently 21-1 overall and ranked No. 33 in the nation in the ESPN POWERADE FAB 50 boys volleyball rankings, took advantage of the early rounds of the tournament to rest starters and allow non-starters to gain valuable experience on the playing court.
“Our team depth was a huge advantage during this grueling two-day tournament where teams typically play eight to 10 matches,” Fajardo said. “We felt very confident that our non-starters would take care of business when we needed them to play an entire game or come in off the bench to make a few plays.”
Brophy College Prep defeated the Mustangs in the semifinals at last year’s tournament to drop Otay Ranch to a third-place finish.
This year, Brophy defeated defending tournament and CIF Southern California regional champion Buchanan in the semifinals -- the same Buchanan that entered the Las Vegas tournament ranked No. 6 in the nation and the same Buchanan squad that defeated the Mustangs in the regional state championship match last season, Fajardo noted.
20th annual Las Vegas Easter Tournament
Monday, April 2
Round 1: Otay Ranch def Foothill (Henderson, Nev.) 25-16, 25-15
Round 1: Otay Ranch def Eldorado (Las Vegas, Nev.) 25-14, 25-17
Round 1: Otay Ranch def Van Nuys 25-13, 25-13
Round 2: Otay Ranch def Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) 25-8, 25-12
Tuesday, April 3
Round 3: Otay Ranch def Shadow Ridge (Las Vegas, Nev.) 25-22, 25-12
Round 3: Otay Ranch def Taft (Woodland Hills) 25-14, 25-14)
Round 3: Otay Ranch def Green Valley (Las Vegas, Nev.) 25-13, 25-14
Semifinals: Otay Ranch def Clovis West (Clovis, CA) 25-14, 26-24
Championship: Otay Ranch def Brophy College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 25-16, 22-25, 15-10
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