Damien boys volleyball advances to semifinal for first time

Spartans mascot photo.

The Damien High School boys volleyball team advanced to the Division 5 semifinals for the first time in school history with a 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22) win over Oakwood tonight.

The Spartans (24-6) will play next Wednesday against the winner of Ganesha-Sante Fe which is being played on Monday.

Junior libero Nick Hibshman tallied 35 digs to anchor the defense while senior setter Christian Hernandez registered 55 assists

The offense was balanced with four players hitting double digits in kills. Senior middle blocker John Prata had a team-high 16 kills but was followed closely by senior Chris Jorritsma with 15, junior Michael Spinney with 11 and junior Chris Mercado with 10.

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Here are results from second round boys volleyball and where they play next

Chris Mercado of Damien goes for shot against Indian Springs

Several boys volleyball teams were in action Thursday night. Here are the results and what’s next for the winners:

Thursday’s matches

Redlands def. Saddleback Valley Chr. 25-15, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22
St. Margaret’s def. Yucaipa 25-16, 25-15, 25-9
Saturday’s match
Saddleback Valley Chr. at Redlands

Thursday’s matches

Damien def. Indian Springs 25-10, 25-9, 25-14
Ganesha def. Loma Linda 25-14, 25-17, 25-19
Ontario Chr. def. West Covina 25-17, 18-25, 25-18, 22-25, 17-15
Arrowhead Chr. def. Nuview Bridge 25-13, 25-11, 25-18

Saturday’s matches
Damien at Oakwood
Ontario Chr. at Laguna Blanca
El Rancho at Arrowhead Christian

Monday’s match
Ganesha at Santa Fe

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Ganesha boys volleyball wins another

The Ganesha boys volleyball team continued its storybook season with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-19) sweep of Loma Linda in a second round Division 5 playoff match.

The Giants (23-4) got 13 kills from Kevin Martinez and 11 kills and eight digs from Thomas Espinoza. Sophomore middle Jorge Barajas, a basketball player turned volleyball player, added eight kills and seven blocks.

Setter Santana Carbajal dished out 30 assists.

It marks the first time in school history the team has been to the quarterfinal round.

“I think with that win the kids really started believing,” coach Joe Mariles said. “They played with energy and confidence. They were focused. It was all the things we had been preaching and it finally came together.”

The Giants will play at Santa Fe on Monday. That match was scheduled for Saturday but Ganesha has several graduation activities this weekend and Santa Fe agreed to move the match to Monday.


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Eitwanda baseball team has that late inning magic

VIDEO: Etiwanda coach Don Furnald talks about this team and the season.

Some teams have that knack for late-inning comebacks and some don’t. The Etiwanda baseball team is one that definitely has that.

The Eagles (18-6, 10-5) claimed a share of the Baseline League title with a 5-4, 6-5 sweep of Upland today at Memorial Park. It is the school’s first league title in the sport since 1996.

In both games Etiwanda won it in the final at-bat. The first game the Eagles were only down 4-1 but went into the final inning tied at 4. They won it in the bottom of the seventh with a run-scoring single by Tyler Freeman, just a sophomore.

The nightcap comeback was even more noteworthy. The Eagles were down 5-2.

It marked the sixth and seventh last inning wins of the season. That’s nearly one-third of the team’s games this season. And because they have done it to often, they are that much more confident they’re going to do it again.

The most notable comeback came against Damien when they trailed 9-0 in the fourth, only to emerge with an 11-10 win.

The Eagles have nine wins by one run and four more by two runs. They have just two losses by a run and just one by two runs. So more often than not they’re coming through in the clutch.

By now other teams know that too. I’m sure when the first two Etiwanda batters reached in the seventh of the second game some negative doubts had to creep in for the Highlanders.

Also remember Etiwanda is playing every game on the road because of the construction on campus of a new football stadium. The Eagles have to take a bus to practice every day as well. This is shaping up to be quite a memorable one already and the playoffs have yet to begin!

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Diamond Bar tennis coach David Hamel ready to retire

David Hamel has been a teacher and coach for nearly four decades. But this will be his last and he is hoping his Diamond Bar tennis team can send him out on a winning note.

The No. 6 Brahmas start the playoffs today with a match against Hart, the third-place team out of the Foothill League. They swept through Palomares League play with a 10-0 record and are 14-2 overall

Hamel will retire on May 29 after teaching for 39 years, the last 16 at Diamond Bar. He previously spent 17 years at Anaheim  Canyon.

He also teaches art and admits the decision was not easy.

“There never really is a good time,” he said. “But I am retiring from teaching so it was also a good time to retire from coaching. I don’t want to have a schedule. If I am fishing in Montana I don’t want to have to worry about being back by a certain day for tryouts or a meeting.”

Hamel, 61, says he has enjoyed every team he has coached but some are particularly memorable. The 2008 team won a CIF Division II title and was invited to state regional play for the first time.

The Brahmas graduate seven players from a team that made the semifinals a year ago before losing to Palm Desert. Sophomore Neil Tengbumroong leads the younger, more inexperienced squad.

“You never like to say you’re rebuilding it. We look at it more as reloading,” he said. “We had some players really step up this year and we’re hoping to make another run.”

Hamel still enjoys tennis and track and will continue to participate in those sports. He and wife Chris, who reside in Yorba Linda, also plan to travel.



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Here’s what’s left and coming up for boys volleyball

Here are results from CIF first round boys volleyball and who the winners play next:

Tuesday’s matches

Redlands def. Templeton 3-0
Tustin def. Redlands East Valley
Yucaipa 3, Morro Bay 0
Thursday’s matches
Redlands at Magnolia
St. Margaret’s at Yucaipa

Tuesday’s matches

Damien 3, Sierra Vista 0
Indian Springs 3, Emerson Honors 0
Ganesha 3, CAMS 0
Loma Linda def. Bell-Jeff 3-0
Ontario Christian 3, St. Genevieve 2
El Rancho 3, Pomona 0
Arrowhead Christian 3, Pacifica Christian 0
Thursday’s matches
Indian Springs at Damien
West Covina at Ontario Christian
Loma Linda at Ganesha

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Rain forces shuffling of Baseline baseball, softball

The expected rain at the end of the week has meant a log of game changes for baseball and softball in the Baseline League.

The softball games scheduled for Thursday are being moved to Wednesday. That’s Upland at Etiwanda, Chino Hills at Los Osos and Rancho Cucamonga at St. Lucy’s.

Baseball games are normally Wednesday and Friday but because of the expected rain all teams will play doubleheaders Wednesday. That will be Etiwanda vs. Upland at Memorial Park, Rancho Cucamonga at Damien and Chino Hills at Los Osos.

Games at Damien and Los Osos will be 1 and 4 p.m. but because Memorial Park has lights those games will be at 3 and 6 p.m.

There aren’t a lot of options to get the games in since this is the last week of the regular season and the CIF wants all games done by Friday so the playoff pairings and draw can be completed without delay.


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Colony to host water polo program fund-raiser

Colony High School will hold a fund-raiser for the water polo program at 6 p.m. on Thursday when the school’s team take on one from the Ontario Fire Department.

Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults. Proceeds will go toward purchasing caps and balls for both the girls and boys programs. The cost to supply those for the boys and girls, varsity and lower level teams can range up to $3,000.

“I don’t know how much it will raise but we really thought it would be a fun thing to do,” said coach Michael Fernandez.

Fernandez had the idea and talked about with Victor Lopez of the Ontario Fire Department, a former teammate of his at Chaffey College.

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Ganesha boys volleyball team looking to make playoff run

Joe Mariles has been coaching the boys volleyball team at Ganesha for 15 years. It hasn’t always been an easy task. The school hasn’t had great tradition in sports and boys volleyball is a sport where it can be hard to field a competitive team, especially given the demographic make up of the school.

But the Giants are making some noise and hoping for a win or two in the playoffs which begin tonight. Ganesha will host a first round Division 5 match against CAMS with first serve set for 7 p.m.

Ganesha is 22-4 overall, which includes a 12-0 mark in Miramonte League play. This is the school’s third league title, the others coming in 2011 and 2012.

The team has no year-round/club players, just a hard-working group of student-athletes who have found modest success in other sports and chemistry on the court.

Mariles is also the on-campus adviser for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) so many of his athletes are students he has had come through that program.

“These kids all get along well,” he said. “They play other sports and they know each other from those or from AVID. The important thing is I really want them to have fun.”

Among the top players on the team is senior Jose Espinoza, an All-CIF selection in soccer, the sport in which Ganesha has had the most success. He leads the team in kills with 263.

The there is sophomore Jorge Barajas, the team’s top basketball player. Mariles says he’s the most athletic player and the real “X-factor.” He is third on the team in kills (118) and boasts a team-high 103 blocks.

Senior Santana Carbajal is the team’s setter.

It is always nice to win but Mariles uses athletics as a teaching tool and a vehicle through which life lessons can be learned. Kevin Martinez is second on the team in kills. He’s going to UCLA but won’t be playing sports. He’ll focus on being a student.

Defensive specialist Hugo Ortega is headed to USC.

“We want them to excel at the next level,” Mariles said. “It’s more about academics than anything else, because that’s something they’re going to carry with them the rest of their life.”

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Chino High to host youth football camp Saturday

Chino High School will host a youth football camp dubbed “Don’t Wish For It, Work For It.”

The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon on May 16 at the school’s football stadium. The cost is just $5. Registration on site starts at 8 a.m.

Fundamentals will be stressed, along with the importance of academics.

Those with questions can contact coach Jesse Ceniceros at (909) 855-1623.

“We’re just trying to get out in the community,” said Ceniceros, who is in his first year after coming over from Norwalk. “We did this at Norwalk and had 100 or so kids. I think we can at least get that.”

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