In a match that was anyone's to take, the Laguna Beach boys' volleyball team held late leads in all four sets against San Clemente but it was the visiting Tritons who were able to come out on top of a 26-24, 29-27, 23-25, 25-22 nonleague victory at Dugger Gym.
The Breakers, ranked fifth in CIF Southern Section Division 2, were up on the Tritons, the No. 4 team in Division 1, 24-23 in the first set and serving set point. They held a 24-22 lead in the second set and again were serving set point.
Laguna led, 12-9, and later at 18-17, in the fourth set, but the Tritons rallied to clinch the match.
Senior outside hitter Jack Wyett and sophomore middle blocker Tyler Alter each had 16 kills and senior middle blocker Noah Blanton had 15 kills for the Breakers. Senior setter JP Wollam had 50 assists and eight digs, senior outside hitter Jake Hexberg eight digs, and junior libero Reed Donenfeld had seven digs.
The Breakers, who opened their season with a victory over Newport Harbor March 4, slipped to 1-1 with the defeat.
"It was a weird match for both teams," Laguna Coach Darren Utterback said. "In one respect, it was a high-level volleyball match. We played well, but then, we'd make some odd mistakes.
"The boys played hard but came up short."
The Breakers will take part this weekend in the 39th annual Dos Pueblos Invitational Volleyball Tournament. Thirty teams divided evenly into six pools will compete Saturday for the title at the UC Santa Barbara Events Center.
Pool play begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. The Breakers, who leave by train Friday for Santa Barbara, face Royal in their opening match.
"We'll learn a lot about ourselves this weekend at the tournament," Utterback said. "It will allow us to toy with our lineup a bit and hopefully, we can come out of it with a big weekend."
Laguna last competed in the tournament 2004, and won the tourney title in 1982.
Pool 1: Dos Pueblos; San Luis Obispo; Harvard Westlake; Lancaster; Eagle Rock.
Pool 2: Agoura; Crespi; Mt. Carmel; Hart; Santa Ynez.
Pool 3: Ventura; Bishop Alemany; Capistrano Valley; Santa Fe; Arroyo Grande.
Pool 4: San Marcos; Palisades Charter; St Margaret's; Simi Valley; Rio Mesa.
Pool 5: Highland; Notre Dame; Laguna Beach; Royal; Oxnard.
Pool 6: Buena; Oaks Christian; Saugus; Dos Pueblos 2; Righetti.
Next week, Laguna travels to face Corona del Mar (No. 5, CIF Southern Section Division 1) in a 5:15 p.m. nonleague match Tuesday.
"I think that Corona del Mar, and it's certainly early in the season, might be the toughest team in Orange County," Utterback said. "They have all their kids back from a year ago.
"It should be a fun match. A lot of our boys play club ball with their guys, so most of them know one another."