As first-round opponents go in the CIF Southern Section boys' volleyball playoffs, the Laguna Beach High Breakers faced a formidable foe Tuesday in El Modena.
The Breakers, though, were up for the challenge.
Laguna, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, advanced in the postseason by sweeping the visiting Vanguards, 25-14, 25-18, 25-20, at Dugger Gym.
El Modena, an at-large entry to the playoffs from the Century League, swept Quartz Hills in a division wild-card game Monday.
The Vanguards finished the year 12-10.
"This was a good win for us," Laguna Coach Darren Utterback said. "[El Modena] come from a tough league that has [defending Division 2 champion] Esperanza in it. They serve tough, pass well and play good defense.
"This was a really good test for our guys, and the scores don't indicate how tough the match was. Overall, I thought our guys played well."
Outside hitter Jack Wyett had 12 kills, middle blocker Noah Blanton 11 kills and outside hitter Jake Hexberg seven kills and five digs. Libero JP Wollam had 14 digs and setter Alec Wulff finished with five digs and 29 assists.
The Orange Coast League champions improved to 21-5 overall.
"Our team all year has been balanced," Utterback said. "If we serve and pass well, we are hard to beat."
Laguna advanced to face La Sierra, the No. 2 team from the Big VIII League, Thursday. The score from the second-round game wasn't available at press time.
The winner of the La Sierra-Laguna game advances to a quarterfinal match at 7 p.m. Saturday against either Lakewood (Moore League No. 2) or Dos Pueblos (Channel League No. 2).
The Division 2 semifinal matches are at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The Breakers swam to 14 new Orange Coast League record times and the boys' and girls' teams captured team titles at the OCL finals May 8 at Costa Mesa High.
Among the highlights for the Laguna boys' team, Max Morgan took first place in the boys' 200-yard individual medley with a personal-best time of 1 minute 59.29 seconds , qualifying him for CIF. Erik Juliusson won the 200 freestyle with a new league record time of 1:45.45. Juliusson also was won and set a new league record time in the 100 butterfly at 51.74. Ben Greenwood qualified for CIF and won the 500 freestyle with a personal-best time of 5:05.34.
Highlights for the girls' team included Olivia Vera winning the girls' 200 IM with her personal-best time of 2:17.10, which qualified her for CIF, and taking first in the 100 backstroke (1:02.89), which also qualified her for CIF. Natalie Selin won the 100 butterfly and qualified for CIF with a personal-best swim of 1:04.12, and Abby Cohn won the 100 breaststroke and qualified for CIF with a time of 1:11.20
Both Laguna teams, which went 5-0 during the OCL regular season, competed Wednesday and Thursday (May 14-15) at the CIF Southern Section Division 3 prelims and finals at the Riverside Aquatics Complex on the campus of Riverside City College. Results from the CIF meets weren't available at press time.