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Elk Grove Citizen

Eagles Finish Regular Volleyball Season in Second Place

May 10, 2024 10:44AM ● By Matthew Malone

Dehryn Brown is ready to spike the volleyball during the Monterey Trail Mustangs' regular season matchup against the McClatchy Lions on March 14. Photo by Alejandro Barron

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - The first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section boys’ volleyball playoffs kicked off on May 2 with a handful of local high schools competing. 
The Division I bracket featured two Elk Grove high schools, two others in Division II and a lone school in Division IV. 
Division I: 
No. 2 Pleasant Grove Eagles
The Eagles finished their regular season in second place of the Delta with a 10-2 league record and an overall 22-5 to obtain the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. 
The Eagles matched up against the No. 15 seed West Wolfpack from Tracy where they swept them 25-15, 26-24 and 25-14. 
Senior Tin Le leads the Eagles with 255 kills on offense, and the team is defensively led by junior Mathew Barbusca with 39 total blocks throughout this season, according to MaxPreps.
The Eagles move on to the second round and will face the No. 7 seed Monterey Trail Mustangs on May 7, after press time. 
No. 7 Monterey Trail Mustangs
The champions of the Metro with a record of 13-1 and an overall record of 23-8 obtained the No. 7 seed to face the No. 10 seed Enochs Eagles from Modesto. 
The Mustangs swept the Eagles 25-17, 25-19 and 32-30 to move on to the second round. 
Offensively, the Mustangs were led in this matchup by junior Dehryn Brown with 18 kills to add to his 504 total kills from the regular season, according to MaxPreps.
The Mustangs advance to the second round and will face the No. 2 seed Pleasant Grove Eagles, which will guarantee an Elk Grove school will reach the semifinals in the Division I bracket. 
Division II: 
No. 13 Elk Grove Thundering Herd
The Thundering Herd finished their regular season with a 5-7 record in the Delta and an overall record of 12-18. 
This record matched them up with the No. 4 seed West Park Panthers from Roseville, where they were swept 25-16, 25-19 and 25-20. 
Despite the loss, the Herd were led offensively by junior Thomas Perrera with 131 kills, while defensively junior Caleb Stone had 16 total blocks and senior Benjamin Ly had 186 digs, according to MaxPreps. 
The Herd failed to reach the quarterfinals this season after reaching that instance last year and hasn’t been able to replicate the success of their 2019 NorCal Volleyball Championship. 
No. 16 Florin Panthers
The third-place Panthers in the Greater Sacramento League with a record of 8-4 and an overall record of 11-6 obtained the last seed to face the No. 1 seed Rio Americano Raiders.
The Raiders showed why they were the No. 1 seed with a sweep over the Panthers 25-11, 25-16 and 24-14. 
With sweeps over both the Panthers and the Herd, no Elk Grove squads are left in the Division II bracket. 
Division IV: 
No. 11 Bradshaw Christian Pride
The lone local school in Division IV was the Bradshaw Christian Pride, which was the runner-up in the Sierra Valley Conference with a 6-3 record and an overall of 15-10. 
This record granted them the No.11 seed to match up against the Bear River Bruins of Grass Valley as The Pride went down swinging, losing three sets to two. 
The Bruins took the first set 25-16 but the Pride would even it up by a score of 25-23, which led to them taking the upper hand with a 25-12 set. Set four went to the Bruins 27-25 and finally the Bruins took the victory in the fifth set 15-13. 
Despite this elimination, this program has turned around with The Pride reaching the semifinals last year after unsuccessful seasons like in 2022 where they posted an overall record of 1-13.