The Santa Catalina Middle School boys' volleyball team is the league champion. The Cougars beat Buena Vista in a close championship game to claim the title.
The team went into the playoffs with an 11-1 record. They beat Pacific Grove in their first playoff match, with strong serving by seventh-grader Andrew Airada and great blocking and spiking by eighth-grader Blake Butler.
The Cougars started strong in their championship match against Buena Vista, winning the first set. Momentum swung the other way in the second set, with Buena Vista taking the win. But an amazing double block by Blake and eighth-grader Charlie Conner seemed to renew the team's confidence. They came back swinging in the third set, with outstanding combo play by grade 8 setter Ethan Leamey and classmate Wyley Dale, as well as strong serves from Charlie. They won the third set—and the championship—with a score of 16-14.
"It was a nail-biter, but the Cougars were tough!" said coach Mary Ann Ratcliffe.