Torrey Pines uses size to outlast Otay Ranch in CIF boys volleyball playoffs

The Torrey Pines boys volleyball team celebrates a playoff win.
(Anna Scipioni)

There is almost nothing better than being bigger than the other team when it comes to volleyball.

In the opening-round match of the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs, Torrey Pines High School took advantage of its size advantage from the very start.

In a match where there were just three lead changes, No. 2 seeded Torrey Pines never gave No. 7 Otay Ranch a chance in posting a 25-12, 25-14, 25-20 victory Tuesday.

“Size helps every day,” Torrey Pines coach Nick Rubacky said. “In the end, we do a lot of what makes us Torrey Pines.

“Just continue to do what has given us success this season.”

Now 32-5, the Falcons advance to Thursday’s next round in the double-elimination tournament in the Open Division at home against the winner of No. 3 Cathedral Catholic-No. 6 Francis Parker.

Otay Ranch (36-10) also advances to Thursday’s next round in the loser’s bracket against the loser of Cathedral Catholic-Parker at 7 p.m. at the highest seed.

Torrey Pines is trying to end a 30-year drought in boys volleyball.

The Falcons, who are 6-0 so far at home, last won a CIF championship in 1993 when they captured the 2A Division.

“It gets really serious from here on out,” said senior outside hitter Christian Connell. “I’ve been thinking of nothing else but that title drought the whole time I’ve been here.”

The Falcons’ height advantage was obvious from the outset.

Led by Trevor Peck’s three kills and three blocks along, one block and three aces from Connell, Torrey Pines raced to a 5-0 lead and was never threatened in the first set.

Otay Ranch got three kills and two blocks from Joseph Vergara.

In the second set, Connell led the way for Torrey Pines with seven kills and an ace, his fourth of the match at that point.

The ace advantage was all Falcons by a 7-1 margin through the first two sets.

Otay Ranch, the Metro Mesa League co-champion this year with Eastlake, twice had early leads in the third set before the Falcons went up 8-7.

From there, the North County Coastal champion Falcons eased into the victory.

Connell took game honors with 14 kills to go with one block and five aces.

Peck added eight kills and four blocks to the cause while Jonny Li had four kills and four blocks and Kianoush Barajasteh Mohebbi had four kills and three blocks.

Vegara led Otay Ranch with six kills and four blocks.

Torrey Pines defeated Otay Ranch 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 in the first round of last year’s Open Division playoffs, also at Torrey Pines.

Monahan is a freelance writer.