The Crescenta Valley Tournament’s second day was filled with exciting volleyball, as two of our diocesan teams captured fifth place in their respective divisions.

rnDamien starts shaky, finishes strong for second consecutive day

Taft entered the matchup as the top seed from Pool D. They started off strong against Damien, who fell behind 8-4. But a Spartan push edged their deficit to 17-14. The Spartans, with their newfound momentum, brought the game within two. However, Taft would not be outdone, going on a 17-3 run to close out the game 25-15.

Saturday’s games saw Damien drop their first set and come back with an impressive second set victory. Early on, the Spartans found themselves in an 8-2 deficit. But once again, Damien’s resiliency showed why it is unwise to bet against them.

They quickly turned around, closing the gap to one. Three lead changes later, Taft held a late lead, 24-23. Despite a long volley, Taft took the final point to win the game.

rnDamien 2, Righetti 1

The Spartans’ loss to Taft set up a matchup against the Righetti Warriors, who lost to host team Crescenta Valley in straight sets. Just like clockwork, Damien started off slow and dropped the first set, 25-17. And again, the Spartans came back with a strong second set.

Damien jumped out to an 11-6 lead, but that lead soon was slimmed down to 17-16. But the Spartans used an 8-1 streak to grab a 25-17 lead to force a third set.

Damien and Righetti traded point for point, all tied up at seven midway through. But the Warriors’ wheels fell off, dropping the set, 15-8.

rnNo rocky start against Eagle Rock

Going into their fifth place match, Damien had lost five consecutive first sets. But that streak ended when they edged out the Eagles, 25-23. Early in the set, defensive specialist Nicholas Richard kept the Spartans in the game with two blocks and a kill.

The Spartans looked for their first sweep of the day, but Eagle Rock had other plans. The Eagles and the Spartans went back and forth, tying the set at 18 apiece. However, Eagle Rock’s 7-1 run finished with a 25-19 victory, forcing a third set.

Damien won the third set in dominating fashion, leading from the first point. Michael Spinney slammed home the game-winning point, lifting Damien to a 15-10 victory.

The victory gave Damien a 5th place finish in the Gold Division.

rn5th place in the Silver Division

Paraclete opened the day with a tough matchup against Thousand Oaks. They could not overcome that matchup, dropping consecutive sets, 25-10 and 25-19. They came back and beat Marshall in two straight sets, 25-18 and 25-17, to earn a spot in the 5th place game against Salesian.

Salesian also had a rough start to the day, losing a close first set to Valley Christian, 25-23, and then dropping their second set, 25-18. This put them into a matchup against San Marcos. Salesian won the first set, 25-21, and dominated in the second set, winning 25-11.

The first set was all Paraclete, as they won 25-12. However, the second set was a different story. Salesian came out of the gate strong, grabbing a 21-19 lead. But Paraclete fought their way back into the lead, 24-23. Twice, Salesian fought off the game point, pushing the game to 28-27. But a kill by Austin Burnley gave Paraclete a 29-27 victory, and fifth place in the Silver Division tournament.