High School Sports

Prep Notebook: Hot start for San Luis Obispo volleyball

The San Luis Obispo High boys volleyball team looks like it might be done sharing or relinquishing its league title.

From 2001 to 2007, the Tigers dominated, claiming co-league championships in 2003 and 2007, and winning outright every other year. In 2008, Arroyo Grande took sole possession of the banner, before the two schools shared the crown a year ago.

This season, though, San Luis Obispo has gotten off to a 12-1 overall start, including a 2-0 mark in PAC 7 play. Balance has been key, as eight players — Vance Cramer, Greg Wright, Danual Moon, Michael Hansen, Sam Duval, Darren Paul, Chip Blaney and Nick Butier — are averaging between 1.4 and 3.2 kills per game.

Starting libero Jeremy Cleere, meanwhile, is averaging a team-best 4.4 digs per game, while setter Keilan Meertens is distributing a team-leading 8.3 assists per game.

“I think we’re the favorite,” first-year Tigers coach Manny Carter said. “We have depth, and my starting six, of course, is doing a really good job this year and wants to prove they’re the top team on the Central Coast.

“We want to win the PAC 7 outright.”

Three weeks ago, San Luis Obispo placed fourth out of 20 teams at its own invitational, which was won by Saint Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano, ranked No. 2 in Division 5 in the CIF-Southern Section.

The Tigers, who were in the “others receiving votes” category in the most recent Division 2 poll, cruised in their two league contests so far, sweeping Pioneer Valley (25-11, 25-18, 25-13) and Righetti (25-16, 25-19, 25-19). They’ll visit Arroyo Grande (4-2, 2-0 PAC 7) at 6 Tuesday night.

Carter, who had served as the Tigers’ junior varsity coach for three years, took over this year after longtime coach Jon Hastings stepped down.

“I’m loving it,” said Carter, a four-year varsity player at San Luis Obispo from 2000 to 2004. “It’s a great group of guys, and all of us are sharing the same goal.”

CIF-SOUTHERN ACADEMIC AWARDS

Four San Luis Obispo County teams were among the 44 teams earning all-sectional academic awards this past week.

Two awards, based on cumulative grade-point average for the first semester of the 2008-09 school year, were handed out in 22 sports — one to schools with the highest GPAs of enrollments under 1,500, and another for schools with enrollments of greater than 1,500.

The first-place county teams were Atascadero boys tennis (with a collective GPA of 3.931), San Luis Obispo boys golf (3.793), Arroyo Grande girls volleyball (3.769) and Arroyo Grande girls water polo (3.753). All four will be given commemorative banners by the section, which is comprised of 576 schools.

COACHING VACANCY

Mission Prep is seeking a varsity boys soccer coach.

This past season, under second-year coach Bob Galarneau, the Royals went 23-1, claimed the Central Section Division 5 championship and made a Southern California Division 3 regional playoff appearance.

Galarneau, who also serves as the director of coaching for the SLO Soccer Club, accepted a promotion to become a full-time assistant with the Cal Poly women’s program.

For more information on the opening, call Mission Prep athletic director John Krossa at 543-2131, ext. 212.

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