Perennial boys volleyball powerhouses Mira Costa and Loyola lead the 16-team field in the annual Santa Barbara High Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions this weekend at J.R. Richards Gym.
Mira Costa (15-3) is the top seed and Loyola (16-2) No. 2. The Mustangs swept the Cubs in their annual showdown match last month.
Loyola is the defending champion and returns all-tournament players Casey McGary and Davis Boehle. Boehle’s brothers, Hayden and Parker, play for UCSB. The Cubs have a 6-10 middle in Jack Truman
Mira Costa is loaded with power and size and experience. The Mustangs are led by senior outside hitters, 6-3 Jackson Wedbush and 6-4 Roy McFarland, and 6-4 senior setter Rob Mullahey.
Mira Costa is No. 2 in the MaxPreps national and state rankings.
The tournament features some new blood in La Jolla and Foothill of Henderson, Nevada. La Jolla (15-4) is the No. 3 team in the San Diego area and Foothill (19-7)is ranked third among schools in southern Nevada.
CIF Central Section power Buchanan comes in with a 19-2 record and a No. 3 ranking in the MaxPreps national and state polls.
Four top-10 teams in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 are entered: No. 3 Burroughs Burbank, No. 4 West Ranch, No. 5 Simi Valley and No. 6 Royal. Also in the field is Channel Islands, the No. 7 team in Division 4.
Host Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and Bishop Diego are the local teams entered.
Tournament action starts Friday at 11 a.m. and runs all day. The championship quarterfinals are at 6 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
The semifinals are at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday and the championship is that evening at 6:15 p.m.
The first-round matchups:
Mira Costa vs. San Marcos JV, 11 a.m.
Simi Valley vs. La Jolla, 11 a.m
Santa Barbara vs. Channel Islands, 12:45 p.m.
San Marcos vs. Burroughs, 12:45 p.m.
Dos Pueblos vs. West Ranch, 2:30 p.m.
Ventura vs. Buchanan, 2:30 p.m.
Foothill vs. Royal, 4:15 p.m.
Loyola vs. Bishop Diego, 4:15 p.m.