The Mira Costa boys’ beach volleyball team won its fourth consecutive AAU Southern Pacific Boys’ Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League championship after defeating Santa Barbara 2-0 in the finals in Hermosa Beach last Saturday.
Mira Costa went 7-1 in the regular part of the schedule and 3-0 in the playoffs to finish 10-1 overall on the season. Their only loss came against Loyola in the first week when they were missing several of their top players.
"Nothing is better than ending a season with a win let alone three years in a row for me,” said senior Jack Walmer, who plays alongside Ben Coordt, junior, and is Mira Costa’s No. 1 pairing.
It was the fourth consecutive championship in a row for head coach Kyle Denitz.
“I’m so incredibly proud of Mira Costa’s desire to win these past four seasons in a row,” Denitz said. “It’s so hard to win and even more difficult to continue to. Our players have looked forward to reigning each year.”
It will be something to remember for Denitz.
“For me personally, this year has been very special to have my dad’s twin brother, David, coach with me.”
Walmer and Coordt gave Mira Costa its first point when they defeated Santa Barbara’s Shaymus O'Hearn, senior, and Alex Rottman, sophomore, by the score of 21-18, 21-13.
“My partner Ben Coordt and I played throughout the summer together so we had great chemistry from the get go,” Walmer said. “He is such a baller and so fun to play with. Adding some great coaching throughout the season definitely improved our game and I loved every second of it."
“Jack Walmer is our ultimate competitor,” Denitz said.
“Playing with Jack taught me so much about how to play beach volleyball and playing with him made me better,” Coordt said. “Having the teammates we did set us up for success because of the competitive practices. The coaching staff was great and taught all of us so much about the game and strategies to help us win.”
Denitz said Coordt “is a beast, mentally and physically.”
Mira Costa sewed up the championship when their No. 3 pair of Chase Coppedge, senior, and Max Gordon, junior, defeated Santa Barbara’s team of Caden Westwick and Klylan O'Connor, who are both seniors, 21-13, 29-27.
The third match was never finished between Mira Costa’s No. 2 team of Sam Collins, senior, and Kyle Johnson, junior, versus Santa Barbara’s Mathew Suh and Dylan Foreman, both juniors.
“It was really fun,” Johnson said. “You would think playing for a championship would be nerve racking but it actually wasn’t. In beach volleyball, it’s just you and your partner against the other team and I trusted my partner and I hoped he trusted me to win, which we did (in the quarterfinals and semifinals).”
Denitz spoke highly of this year’s team.
“This team could be the best and most polished yet. Three seniors and three juniors made up our varsity squad, going 7-1 on the year, with the only loss coming at the first tournament of the year and half of our championship squad weren’t there. We haven’t lost a tournament at full strength in two years.”
Johnson gave praise to the program and his coaches.
“It’s an honor to represent the Mira Costa beach volleyball program because of what the parents do for it and especially the coaches. I truly think the reason why we win year after year is because we have the best coaches who care about their players and want them to learn as much as possible about the game.”
Johnson is dedicating the championship to the coaches.
“Even though it was the players playing this weekend, I’m owning the win to my coaches for making it all possible. Hopefully we can continue our win streak for my senior year and we can bring home another championship for Mira Costa.”
The playoffs were held over two weekends. Mira Costa and three other teams had byes and did not have to play that first weekend. In the end, eight teams battled it out last Saturday north of the Hermosa Beach pier.
Mira Costa defeated Arroyo Grande 3-0 in the quarterfinals to begin the day.
Walmer and Coordt won their match 21-13 23-21. The No. 2 team of Collins and Johnson won their match convincingly 21-12 21-17. In the last match, the No. 3 pair of Coppedge and Gordon won by the scores of 21-11, 21-13.
In the semifinals, they faced rival Redondo Union and some familiar faces. Again, Mira Costa came out on top by a 3-0 score.
Walmer/Coordt defeated Redondo Union’s Sebastian Rodriguez and Mark Marolda, both seniors, by a score of 21-12 21-10. The No. 2 team of Collins/Johnson defeated Rees Barnett, senior, and Issac Newman, sophomore, 21-17 21-13. The No. 3 team of Coppedge/Gordon defeated Jason Ashenfelter, senior, and Riley Norman, sophomore.
Mira Costa earned one other accolade and that was that Walmer and Coordt also won the IBVL High School Pairs Championship on September 28 at Dockweiler Beach. They have really been a key component to Mira Costa’s winning ways.
“Jack Walmer and Ben Coordt have been absolute studs for Mira Costa beach volleyball,” Denitz said. “They have been our No.1 team for two straight seasons, winning the pairs championship twice and haven’t lost a match in over two years as well. I’m so lucky to have both of them.”
Walmer and Ben Coordt defeated teammates Jack Hopkins, senior, and Collins 21-17 in the semifinals.
In the finals, they defeated a pair from Notre Dame, Mason Moore and Matt Aziz, both seniors, by the score of 21-10.
Redondo Union’s Rees Barnett and Isaac Newman tied for third.