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CHS volleyball needs two more wins to take league title

Claremont High School boys volleyball is within striking distance of a league title, but cannot afford anymore losses the rest of the season. They moved one step closer Tuesday by easily defeating West Covina, 3-0, in Claremont.

During the first set, the competition was particularly lopsided, with Claremont’s shots landing at the feet of stunned Bulldogs. The Pack marched to an easy 25-10 victory.

However, the Claremont boys relaxed maybe a little too much as the second set started. The Bulldogs matched the Pack point for point, even leading early on. It wasn’t until the score was tied at 12 that Claremont got serious and pulled away for the eventual 25-15 win.

The final set was more like the first, with Claremont having the clear upper hand. But they seemed reluctant to put the game away, making simple mistakes that kept West Covina alive. Eventually inertia and simple math took care of the situation, and Claremont won 25-16.

Caedin Miller and Gilad Bechor each had 13 kills while Chasen Greene had a game high hitting percentage of .724, which included nine kills.

The pivotal match for the season so far came last week when Claremont narrowly lost to Damien, 3-2, in La Verne.

“Damien came prepared, it was a great high school match,” Coach Bernie Wendling said. “We took the first set and Damien bounced back. And everything after that was deuce sets, 26-24 or 25-23.

“We had a couple of mistakes down the stretch, but it was fun high school volleyball, we just wish we could have come out on the winning side. The guys battled hard and I could not be more proud of their effort,” he said.

Claremont came out on top, 3-1, the first time the two teams met back in March.

The Spartans, who are on an eight game winning streak, advanced to first place by defeating Los Altos on Tuesday. With one game left in their season, against West Covina, Damien will likely end up with a 6-2 record.

“We have to win out, we have to beat Los Altos on Thursday and Diamond Ranch on Tuesday to win league,” Coach Wendling said. “The big thing is the number of losses, we haven’t played as many games and they [Damien and Los Altos] have.

Claremont beat Los Altos, 3-0 last month, but this time the Conquerors will have the home court advantage. The game was played on Thursday after press time.

With the West Covina win the Pack is now 4-2 and the boys will end the season hosting Diamond Ranch on Tuesday

 

Boys tennis win league title

Claremont High School boys tennis defeated Diamond Bar, 11-7, on Tuesday, earning a Palomares League championship.

Juniors Ahkeel Mohideen and Johnny Hernandez kept the lead going into the last round by winning the final three games of their doubles match. Down 4-3, Mohideen held serve and then the pair broke serve to go up 5-4. Hernandez then held his serve to win the match, 7-5.

The Pack won all three singles and the number-one doubles match to clinch the victory.

“It has been a fun season,” Coach Kathy Settles said. “We have been so tough at the top of our singles and doubles line up [but] we’re also getting a few key wins from other spots, making us a tough team to beat.”

Earlier in the week Claremont defeated Ayala 17-5, which set up a rematch with Diamond Bar for the league title. Last year Claremont was undefeated going into the final match against the Brahmas but lost.

Senior Leyton Bohren, 26-0, and junior Jason Weisman, 24-0, both finished the season undefeated in league singles play. Junior Andrew Weisman and sophomore Ben Stapp finished at 20-1. Bohren and both Weismans are playing in the CIF boys singles and doubles tournament in Ojai starting Thursday. League playoffs are next week at the Claremont Club, with prelims on Tuesday and finals on Thursday.

Baseball team stays hot

Claremont baseball had a mixed week, losing a game against South Hills, but winning one against Bonita.

As reported in last week’s COURIER, Claremont stunned first-place South Hills, 6-5, last Tuesday but the Huskies turned the tables Thursday, defeating the Pack, 6-0, at CHS. South Hills got all six runs in the third inning and shut the Pack out on strong pitching, giving up only four hits. Not to be deterred, the Wolfpack beat Bonita, 3-1, Tuesday at home.

Claremont got some great performances from senior Jack Noble, who earned the win by pitching all seven innings, giving up seven hits, but striking out eight and only walking one.

Senior Jake Holcroft led the offense with two hits, including a double, and two runs. Seniors Nate Rodriguez had a hit and a run, and Rylan Opatkiewicz got a two RBI single.

Claremont has won four of its last five games and the Pack is now tied with the Bearcats, with a 3-7 league record. The teams had a rematch on Thursday in La Verne after press time.

Including Bonita, CHS has five more games, two against fourth-place Ayala and two against third-place Diamond Bar.

Softball wins with big fifth inning

Thanks to a big fifth inning during which the girls scored six runs, Claremont defeated Diamond Bar, 7-2, Tuesday in Diamond Bar. The victory lifts Claremont’s record to 2-7, with five more league games left. The Pack had an away match against Glendora Thursday after press time.

Five seniors receive league honors

On Monday five Claremont High School students were named Palomares League Outstanding Seniors at the annual banquet at Pomona Valley Mining Company. Makenna Moore, Tess Rounds, Kyra Tisopulos, Victor Mora and Cory Smith each received the award.

To be honored, students must excel in “scholarship, school and community service, leadership and a variety of extracurricular activities,” according to the banquet program.

Each senior was recognized at the banquet by CHS Principal Brett O’Connor, Athletic Director Mike Collins and a teacher of their choosing.

A committee of teachers, administrators, athletic directors and coaches throughout the league chooses the recipients.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com