Royal delivers a stunning sweep of Upland in the Division 3 Boys’ Volleyball Final – Daily Bulletin

LONG BEACH >> The Royal Boys volleyball team turned the scenario on Upland in their CIF-SS Division 3 Championship game Saturday at Long Beach City College.

Top seed Upland hadn’t dropped a set in the weeks before the match began, but it was the No. 2 Royal that swept the Highlanders 25-17, 25-23, 25-19 to exit the championship.

Good service and assembling long steaks have been the hallmark of this season’s uppland.

But Royal (24-6) didn’t let Upland (37-4) lead by more than four points or lead by more than four points in any combination.

“We couldn’t do anything offensive,” Upland coach Scott Robertson said. “They are a good team. They are big and strong. They took advantage of our lack of passing.”

Royal off-field hitter Derek Bradford, 6-foot-8, led all 16 hitters, mostly from the right side.

Braden Wooton and Evan Costley finished with eight kills each for Royal.

Kal Vogel and Isaiah Vogel led Upland with 11 kills each, and great outside hitter Jordan Lucas, who has played a major role in Upland’s success this season, finished with eight kills, eight digs and three blocks.

Upland trailed 16-8 in the first set but fought back to hit three points at 20-17. But a two kill from Wootton, a pass from Nathan Diaz and a serve from Evan Ford helped Royal go 5-0 to win the set.

With 12 draws and five changes up front, the second set was the closest and arguably the pivotal set of the match.

Upland trailed 19-16 when Lucas was killed three times in a row and a kill by Isaiah Vogel gave Upland a 20-19 lead.

From there, Upland led 21-20 and 22-21 before Royal closed the set in Round 4-1 to take the 2-0 lead.

The third set included eight encounters but when Royal took an 8-7 lead in Bradford’s kill, Upland tied the score three more times but never got ahead.

Royal led 20-19 and then went 5-0 to win the set and the match.

“We knew (the recordings) were sort of their access point,” said Royals coach Dean Borth. “When they reach the top, they will use that momentum. We just said we have to weather every storm and not lose our composure and be patient. It sure worked.”

The Royal’s victory cut off the Upland’s winning streak by 20 matches, and when the Royal won the first set, the Upland’s 25-set winning streak also ended.

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