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Greeleys, Vista Murrieta boys volleyball gets past former mates

05/10/2017, 11:00am PDT
By Landon Negri

MURRIETA — Forgive Vista Murrieta seniors Karson and Kade Greeley if it wasn’t a perfect performance Tuesday night.

It was, after all, easy to get distracted. For one, they knew every single guy on the other side of the net. For another, the opposing coach also coached their older sister.

“Kade and Karson both want to play perfect — that’s just their personality,” Broncos boys volleyball coach Kristen Cooke said. “They want to get a kill on every ball.”

Perfection wasn’t attained, but a victory was. The two seniors led the host Broncos past their former school, King, on Tuesday night for a 25-23, 26-24, 25-19 sweep in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 first-round boys volleyball match.

Karson, also the Broncos’ quarterback, and Kade, a standout tight end, transferred from King midway through their sophomore year and actually have played volleyball at Vista Murrieta for three seasons.

King’s boys volleyball program is in just its third season, so the brothers didn’t play there, but they knew the Wolves’ roster. Karson, who’s 6-foot-5, finished with 12 kills, and Kade, who’s 6-6, had eight. Junior middle blocker Cody Johnson added eight kills and five blocks.

As excited as they were to play the Wolves, it was a bit odd. The brothers posed for pictures with junior setter Bradley Kleven afterward, marking a photo with the last two King quarterbacks.

“One of our best friends is on that team,” Kade Greeley said, “and it’s really competitive, but it’s a playful competitive.”

The match itself certainly showed that, and it was incredibly close for a sweep. King and fourth-seeded Vista Murrieta (23-6) battled to 23-23 ties in the first two sets before the Broncos pulled out wins. The Wolves (19-7) led as late as 17-16 in the third before the Broncos scored nine of the final 11 points to clinch the victory. Vista Murrieta plays at Oxnard, which defeated La Canada Flintridge Prep, in the second round Thursday.

 

Senior outside hitter James Stufkosky led King with 11 kills. The Wolves finished a successful season in which they contended for the Big VIII crown into the final week of the season.

“I’m very proud of this group,” said King coach Sandra Lough, who also coached Karson and Kade’s older sister, Kalei — the 2012 HSGameTime Player of the Year who went on to stand out at the University of Hawaii. “We took a lot of athletes who had never played volleyball before, and they came together and there’s some phenomenal leadership on this team. They did play with a lot of heart all season long. We just really wanted this one tonight.”

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