Griffins fall to Friars in CIF-SS volleyball playoff match

Los Alamitos won a share of the Wave League title this year

Noah Igo, left and Jette Estes put up a defensive wall on a hit by Servite’s Eamon Rigdon. Photo by Ted Apodaca

The Los Alamitos High boys volleyball team’s season came to an end with a 25-19, 25-17, 21-25, 25-12 loss to Servite High in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs on Thursday at Los Alamitos High School.

After losing the first two sets, the Griffins adjusted the lineup and it helped stave off defeat as they battled back to win the third set and keep the match going. But Servite had answers as well, as they turned the tide in the fourth set and pulled away.

After dropping the first two sets, Griffin Coach Katie Kelly said they made a change in their game plan, putting more control in the hands of senior setter Gunnar Totorp on the attack. The plan worked as the Griffins jumped out to an early lead and held off Servite to win the third set.

“I think that [Gunnar’s] energy was contagious in the third set, his leadership was continuous in the third set and everyone could kind of lean on him and rely on him,” Coach Katie Kelly said.

The Griffins jumped out to an early 7-3 lead and never relinquished  it. Los Al led 23-18 after a block by Isaac Igo and Jette Estes. Servite got within 23-20, but a Tanner Lugenbuehl kill off a dig attempt hit the roof and got them to set point. A net serve by the Friars ended the set.

But the Friars were able to adjust themselves and regain control in the fourth set. Servite was the third place team out of the Trinity League, behind Mater Dei and Santa Margarita, but they were the No. 7 team in the final CIF-SS Division 2 poll. Los Alamitos finished the regular season as the No. 10 team in the same poll.

However, as a league champion, having tied Fountain Valley for the Wave League Championship, the Griffins had the home court advantage. The Griffins ramped up their pre-league schedule this season, scheduling games against top 10 ranked teams in the nation.

“I’m really proud of these boys, we had a tough schedule this year, we played some of the best teams in the nation for high school boys volleyball,” Kelly said.

Los Alamitos will face another challenge next year, as the Griffins graduate eight seniors this year. Totorp, Isaac Igo, Ian Pokorny, Jette Estes, Adrian Parra, Enzo Kerley, Josh Beeny and Noan Debie will all be graduating this year.