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Santa Cruz Sentinel: Volleyball star Wyatt Harrison is crushing it for Tritons

Former Main Beach player, Wyatt Harrison featured in Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Outside hitter, a former Pacific Collegiate standout, is shining for UC San Diego’s volleyball team and among Big West Conference kill leaders

Wyatt Harrison is part of a powerful one-two punch for the UC San Diego men’s volleyball team.
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Santa Cruz's Wyatt Harrison gets up for a kill attempt for the UC San Diego men's volleyball team. (Derrick Tuskan -- UC San Diego Athletics)

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Main Beach Volleyball Heads to National Championship

Hard work and commitment make dreams come true for local boys volleyball team

By Lisa Catterall

16s bronze medals

This year's boys season Main Beach fielded only four teams, taking every player who wanted to play. Nevertheless, we managed to earn not one, but two, team bids to the USA Volleyball National Championship. The 18’s team finished 2nd in the Far Western Bid Tournament and the 16’s finished 3rd. What was the secret?

18s silver medals

Assistant coach of the 16’s team, Alison Ota stated, “Overall, we had a great season and in the end it’s their comradery and fun energy that got us to where we are.” The parents seemed to agree, making comments that described this team as having more fun and “goofy energy” than any other team.

The coaches, however, also began with high expectations. They asked the boys to find out what it was like to train as a top-level team. 16’s head coach Justin Bates stated, “Allison and I believe that setting roles, expectations, and goals early allowed us to stay on track throughout our season. This group of boys has a great bond that their passion for the sport has created.” The boys practiced for hours, coming in early and leaving late, on weekends and holidays.
far western boys 2020
Many of the boys on both teams have known each other as long as they have been playing sports. Some of them met in preschool. Sports connections between team members began in their first youth soccer leagues as long as eight years ago. And in a town with a small pool of youth athletes, the connection endured through the years.

Director Tina Pendleton moved club practices to the south of Santa Cruz county with the idea of attracting players from the less affluent town of Watsonville. In the spirit of community, a parent stepped in and donated league fees to bring players in who would change the demographic of the boys’ division. “I’ve lived in Santa Cruz county for thirteen years, and I’ve noticed that there are not many opportunities for kids from Santa Cruz and kids from Watsonville to come together in positive ways. I think we created that opportunity in our club this season,” said director Pendleton.

16 huddle

The players themselves are humbled and excited. Many have spent formative years of their lives on the sport, and this is an achievement they will never forget. “I have been playing for four years and this is the first time I've been on a team that got a bid. Our team has a chance at the Nationals because we have good chemistry,” said 16’s setter Leonardo Tuncer. Libero Owen Kusz stated, “This team has been like family for the five months we have been playing together. We grew closer as a team and we have pushed each other beyond our limits. My coaches have been the best mentors and leaders you can find!”

Main Beach Boys will warm up for the Nationals at the Boys’ Far Westerns in Anaheim in mid June and make their bid for the national title in Reno June 27-30.

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Former Main Beach Player National Offensive Player of the Night

Congrats to Wyatt Harrison, named Off the Block National Offensive Player of the Night! Wyatt put down 11 kills and two aces while hitting .357 in UCSD's sweep of No. 3 UCLA!

Instagram Wyatt Harrison

More details of the epic match can be found here.

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Boys 18s and 16s Finish 2nd and 3rd at Far Western Bid Tournament

Congratulations to our Boys 16s who ended the Far Western Bid Tournament in 3rd place with a 5-1 tournament record and our 18s who finished in 2nd place with a 5-2 record. Both earned bids to the Junior Nationals taking place in Reno, NV this summer.

Congratulations on this huge accomplishment.

18s silver medals

16s bronze medals

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UCSC Men's Team Meets with Main Beach Boys

The UCSC Men's volleyball team paid a visit to the Main Beach boys' practice over the weekend. The boys got to meet with the players, ask questions and take photos.

Thanks to the UCSC team for taking the time to inspire our teams!

UCSC men's team with MB boys

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Main Beach had three teams compete at the San Jose Convention Center this weekend with 14s coming into the tournament 9th and holding that seed all the way until the last match. They finish as the 8th 14s team in NorCal. Next, our 15/16 team that contains 8th graders to sophomores but is predominately a 15 and under team finished 13th in teams alike. Finally, our 16s team came in as the 7th ranked 16s team and finished the 6th with a third set victory against a team they have been battling to beat all season long!

Over at San Mateo Events Center our two 18s teams competed this weekend as well. Saturday morning begun with the two teams facing off and then continuing on their own journeys the rest of the weekend. 18-Chicory finished 11th overall in 18s teams with about half of the roster being juniors. Meanwhile, 18-Jake exhausted themselves in a 24-22 third set lose in the semi-finals and finished 4th overall. They ended power league with a 29-6 record overall, which makes them the most winning team in Main Beach history. Their total league points leaves them 3rd in NorCal with 2470.50…just shy of NCVC 18-1s (2474.50) & MVVC 18-Red (2495.50).

All five teams will kick off 2018 with the NCVA Far Westerns tournament at San Mateo Events Center on January 6th and 7th and then take an intermission for boys high school season, where the SCCAL (Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League) might be the most competitive it has ever been with such a dominating senior class.

Happy Holidays to all of our Main Beach families!!!

Ashley Tennant

Main Beach had another successful weekend: 14-Ashley moved up to gold, while 15/16-Kael held their 20th seed. 16-PK wasn’t able to defend their 4th seed and dropped a few spots. 18-Chicory had the most successful weekend going undefeated and moving up to silver. 18-Jake almost kept their undefeated season until dropping in the gold finals 23-25, 25-23, 14-16. Overall, we improved our seedings and are back in the gym preparing for Power League #2 that is held on October, 22nd.

Sunday, Oct. 22

14-Ashley: Los Medanos College, 15/16-Kael & 16-PK: Jackson Sports Academy, 18-Chicory: Yuba High School, 18-Jake: NB Courts

Ashley Tennant

Main Beach’s 14-16s are group teams finished off Regional Qualifiers at San Mateo this past weekend. 14-Ashley showed they can play with almost any team in the region but came up short in a few matches and will start season 16th in the Northern California. Meanwhile, 15/16-Kael moved all over the place in rankings throughout the weekend and finished out with their highest seed as 20th. 16-PK played a perfect 7-0 weekend to defend their 4th seed in the region. Overall, another great weekend for Main Beach Boys!

On October 8th, 14-Ashley will travel to Skylane Facility in Santa Rosa while 15/16-Kael will compete at Los Medanos College, and 16-PK will take the long trek to Jackson Sports Academy to play that Sunday.

GO BEACH!

Ashley Tennant

Main Beach’s two 18s team kicked off the tournament season this weekend in San Mateo. 18-Chicory made a big jump up to the 26th seed and went 5-3 while missing one player this weekend. 18-Jake took this weekend serious by winning 16 out of their 17 sets played. That effort earned them a spot as the third ranked team in Northern California. Both teams will play next on October 8th, 18-Jake at SF State and 18-Chicory at Hillmar HS. Our other three teams will travel this weekend to San Mateo in hopes to follow in the 18s’ footsteps. Go Beach!

Ashley Tennant