The Otay Ranch High School boys volleyball team’s magical journey through the 2012 season came to an end last Saturday with a straight sets loss to the Loyola Cubs in the Southern California regional state championship game at Irvine Valley College.
Despite the emotional support lent by several hundred cheering fans from Chula Vista, the Mustangs were not able to repeat the feat they accomplished in late April: defeat the formidable Cubs.
Loyola earned the mantle of this year’s state champions by virtue of its 25-20, 25-19, 25-14 victory.
“It was a great ride and we’re so thankful that we could share these exciting new experiences with (our fans),” ORHS coach Tony Fajardo said. “Regardless of the outcome, we are extremely proud to represent Otay Ranch High School, the South Bay community, San Diego County and, of course, our closest family and friends.”
Fajardo said the team appreciated the great fan support from those who made the trip to Irvine Valley College as well as those who viewed the match on live television.
For the second consecutive year, the Mustangs brought three school buses filled with students to Irvine.
This year’s state championship game pitted two of the top teams in the country.
Loyola was ranked No. 1 in the nation when the teams initially met at the Redondo Classic; Otay Ranch rose to No. 6 in the nation entering the San Diego Section playoffs.
The Mustangs finished the season 41-3; the Cubs improved to 22-2.
“Although we came up short in the So Cal championship match, I am very proud of our entire program, the amazing season we had and the winning tradition we are continuing,” Fajardo said.
Frank Herrera led Otay Ranch with 13 kills against Loyola while Nick Alegrado had 27 assists and J.J. Olaogun had 10 digs.
The Mustangs rallied from a 25-21 loss in the first game to Palisades to record a 3-1 victory in the regional semifinals on May 24. Otay Ranch stormed back with 25-13, 25-19, 25-15 victories to secure a berth in the state title match.
Jorge Reyes led the hosts with 15 kills while Beto Gonzalez and Andrew Freiha each collected 10 kills. Reyes also had four aces while Alegrado posted 45 assists and Olaogun had 12 digs.
Four Mustangs — Alegrado, Herrera, Olaogun and Reyes — have been selected to participate in the San Diego County Senior All-Star Game scheduled Wednesday, June 6, at 7:30 pm at Scripps Ranch High School. The event will feature the top seniors throughout the county.
SAN DIEGO SECTION 2012 CHAMPIONS
(1) Otay Ranch def. (2) Poway 26-24, 25-16, 25-20
(1) Westview def. (2) La Costa Canyon 25-16, 25-21, 24-26, 25-23
(1) Cathedral Catholic def. (2) La Jolla 25-21, 25-20, 25-18
(2) St. Augustine def. (1) Francis Parker 25-21, 25-22, 25-15
(1) La Costa Canyon 8, (2) Torrey Pines 2
(2) Coronado 6, (1) Bishop’s 3
(1) La Costa Canyon 11, (3) Poway 6
(1) Coronado 15, (2) Canyon Crest 2
Girls: Torrey Pines
Girls: Cathedral Catholic
TRACK & FIELD
Boys: El Camino
Girls: El Camino
Boys: Cathedral Catholic
Girls: Valley Center
(1) Torrey Pines 11, (2) Rancho Bernardo 7
(1) Canyon Crest 13, (2) Cathedral Catholic 5
(1) La Jolla 13, (2) La Jolla Country Day 5