The Cerritos and Katella boys volleyball teams had their dreams of winning CIF-Southern Section titles dashed at different stages of the recently completed championship tournament.
Katella lost in the semifinals of the Division 4 playoffs, while Cerritos lost in the Division 5 final.
In the opening round of the CIF Division III Southern California Regional on Tuesday night, both teams tried to refocus for a chance to cap their season with another title.
After some serious momentum swings throughout the match, fifth-seeded Cerritos eventually prevailed, defeating host and fourth-seeded Katella, 25-18 25-17, 28-30, 25-22.
Cerritos will visit top-seeded Kennedy in the regional semifinals Thursday.
“We did fight, but it was not the fight I wanted to see,” Katella coach Maselino Pese said. “I wanted them to come out swinging and leave it all out there. You have to tip your hats to them (Cerritos), they came to play.”
It took the Knights a while to get going in the match. In the first set, despite taking their first lead at 18-17, the Knights were unable to maintain that momentum. The Dons closed the set by scoring eight of the final nine points.
Cerritos, led by Joshua Reyes and Effdhavis Amores, had little trouble in the second set. However, the third provided both sides with some nervous moments. Katella served for set point on five occasions, only to be turned back by the Dons.
Finally with the score tied at 28-28, James Faitasia had consecutive kills to give the Knights the victory.
The Knights led, 12-8, in the fourth set, but the Dons rallied to tie the set at 13-13. From there, the set would be tied four more times, including 21-21. The Dons then took the lead for good on a block by Matthew Nagata.
“I have a lot of young guys coming back next year,” Pese said. “Next year will be a bit of a rebuilding year, but at least they were out there watching the game and they will be back and ready to go.”
Senior Francisco Pineda and Faitasia paced the…