Diggin’ it

RUHS hopes to use loss against Beckman as a learning experience while advancing in CIF


Photo by Spencer Rogers

RUHS hoped to use the loss against Beckman as a learning experience to prepare for the CIF playoffs.

Redondo Union boys volleyball came out strong in the Varsity Classic Tournament on April 22-23, earning a place in the finals, as they battled it out against some of the top ranked teams in their division, preparing them for what’s to come in the CIF playoffs. 

 The boys started the tournament by shutting out Valencia 2-0. According to senior outside hitter Riley Norman, confidence from the first game carried over to the next games as RUHS shut out their next two opponents, beating Notre Dame 2-0 and Chatsworth 2-0. 

RUH’s proficiency in passing and blocking helped them throughout the tournament, but they also had the added advantage of playing on their home court, with the support of their friends, family, and students in the crowd.

“Overall, I think everybody was a little bit more engaged, we had more energy from the fans, and it’s just easier playing in your own gym. It feels more comfortable since it’s our gym and our fans are cheering us on every play,” Norman said. 

On day two of the tournament, Redondo dispatched Palisades 2-0, then battled Woodrow Wilson for a spot in the finals. Tensions were high at the beginning of the first set, with a spot into the finals at stake, and Woodrow Wilson leading by five points. However, Redondo picked up the pace and ended up winning the first set. Redondo passed efficiently and blocked more consistently, allowing them to dominate in the second set and win 2-0. With Woodrow Wilson out of the way, Redondo advanced to the finals against Beckman. 

“It’s great that we were able to compete with really good teams, I’m glad we could make it into the finals, I think it gives the team a taste of what it feels like to compete at that level of competition,” head Coach Kevin Norman said.

Redondo had advanced all the way to the finals and were ready to play Beckman. Beckman High School, with a 93% win rate, is one of the top teams in their division. Junior David Mansilla, an outside hitter, says the boys were up for the challenge, and not intimidated.

“We were coming in pretty confident because we had won pretty easily for most of the tournament,” Mansilla said. 

The first set was close, Redondo and Beckman were evenly matched throughout most of the first set. 

“In the first set, we did a great job of executing the game plan and being in the because of volleyball; if you’re not in the moment, plays go right by you, and I think in the first set, we did a fair job of staying focused,” Coach Norman said.

With precision execution of the game plan, Redondo won the first set 25-20.  Winning the first set was a huge victory for the team, according to Coach Norman, 

“Beckman is one of the top teams in division one, so the fact we were able to compete with them and take a set off gives the boys confidence” Coach Norman said. 

However, in the second set Beckman “executed with greater efficiency” and got out to an early five point lead.

“Their middles were pretty unstoppable, and the team executed really well.  I think they  just outplayed us,” Mansilla said.

For the rest of the second set, the boys couldn’t match Beckman’s power and intensity, allowing them to win the second set. Redondo and Beckman were tied 1-1 going into the third set. 

“That second set was pretty brutal for us, so after that, we were just trying to gather ourselves and get back focused going into the third set,” Mansilla said. 

Even though the second set didn’t go well, the team tried to get back into the game and keep their spirits up.

“When we are down in a game we try to let the desire to win motivate us. We also hype ourselves up, like if someone messes up it’s like no worries you’ll get the next one and when they are doing a good job we hype them up too,” Mansilla said. 

Although Redondo’s mentality was strong, Beckman got ahead early in the game, and Redondo couldn’t keep up, 

“As the match progressed, we got caught up because we had given up some runs and were thinking about that and the score, and that’s not going to help you execute,” Coach Norman said. 

With Beckman seven points ahead they completed their last serve, and the battle between Redondo and Beckman was over. Redondo had lost 2-1.

Although Redondo didn’t take home the trophy this time, according to Mansilla and Coach Norman, the team maintains their winning mentality. The boys season came to an end when they lost to Loyola in four sets in the CIF quarter finals. 

“I told the team losing sometimes is going to make you work harder for the next one,” Coach Norman said.