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Eye of the Tiger

VOLLEYBALL: Tigers finally clinch section title

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(ANDREW SMITH/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(ANDREW SMITH/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(ANDREW SMITH/EYE OF THE TIGER)

BRAD MORIN

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The curse has been broken. After seven combined second-place finishes in boys volleyball section finals – two for the team and five for coach Marco Salcedo – Roseville and Salcedo finally clinched a section banner. The Tigers swept the Whitney Wildcats on May 20 to finish first in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff tournament and earn themselves the title they had been in search of for so long.

The win has been a long time coming for the boys and their coach. Salcedo had lost five section championship games coaching other teams in the past and the current group of boys on the team lost the section championship last year against Granite Bay and the year before that against Whitney. Both games went to five sets and both times the Tigers lost.

The Tigers did not let their past defeats hold them back this year and defeated Whitney convincingly in a sweep with set-scores of 25-20, 25-20 and 25-19. The section banner is Roseville High School’s first ever for boys volleyball.

Senior middle blocker and captain Neal Reilly felt a great sense of relief after finally winning the title.

“We kind of have the saying, ‘third time’s a charm,’” Reilly said. “It feels really great, after going two years to that game in a row and falling short. To win it finally feels great.”
Salcedo recognizes the significance of the win as well and said that it’s definitely a special one.

“Like I told them, that very first championship – nobody can ever duplicate that,” Salcedo said. “You can win 100 section championships, but no one can ever duplicate that first one.”

Section championship in tow, the boys carried on to compete in the NorCal regional tournament which features the top teams from northern California. They continued their success, defeating the De La Salle Spartans in their usual 3-0 fashion in the first round with set-scores of 25-19, 25-16 and 25-12.

Next up were the Saint Francis Troubadours, the #1 seed in the bracket, who managed to hand the Tigers their first set-loss since league play began back in early March. However, the Tigers were still able to come away with a 3-1 victory that placed them in the NorCal final against Bellarmine College Prep last Saturday afternoon.

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