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CHS boys volleyball sail past Quartz Hill in CIF action

The usual suspects were in full force for Claremont high school’s boys volleyball team on Tuesday night, as the Quartz Hill Rebels visited town for a first round CIF playoff match. Claremont dominated all three sets, winning 25-12, 25-14, and 25-17.

After a real test last week having been beaten by Burbank Burroughs High School, the Wolfpack needed to win or go home against Quartz Hill. The Rebels were in the playoffs by virtue of a 2nd place finish in the Golden League, but were clearly outmatched.

Head coach Bernie Wendling commented on the level of play during the first round of playoffs. “Tonight, I knew that the guys would respond positively after last week’s loss. This team was not as strong as some of the teams we have played this year. However, 16 teams have been eliminated now and the level of play ratchets up quickly from round to round.”

The match was over in an hour. Claremont’s assist king Lane Giammalva notched 40 assists, and kill-leader Steven Zetterberg put down 17 balls and 4 service aces. Stan Reeder and Hunter McIntyre combined for 19 more kills. A brief Rebels rally at the end of the 3rd set was quashed amid cheers from a typically boisterous Claremont crowd.

Assistant coach Andrew Zetterberg commented on the Pack’s strengths and what they will need to improve once they come up against stronger opposition. “Team defense is key. We take pride in serving tough, so we need to find a more consistent level. The guys will have to dig a lot more balls, too. Any one of our guys can put a ball down; we have 5 legitimate hitters. If we play our A-game we can beat anybody.”

The Pack will travel to Tustin Foothill on Thursday night at 7 p.m., as they lost the coin toss to determine who would host the match. Wendling added his insight on the matchup. “We beat Foothill before, but I expect this match will be more difficult. We caught them early on a Saturday morning in tournament play the first time. They have since gotten a lot better. It should be a good one.”

The winner of the Claremont-Foothill game will play in the CIF quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 p.m., against either South Torrance or Laguna Beach. Wolfpack players are hungry for another victory, and look to go all the way this year.

—Chris Oakley

sports@claremont-courier.com

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