GMAC Boys’ Volleyball Championship

Sunset wins GMAC; has sights on first state title


Sunset took care of Columbus, Palmetto and Southwest to win its first GMAC title in six years.

Sunset’s boys’ volleyball team knew it would have to trek the toughest possible path Tuesday if it wanted to repeat as GMAC champions.

The Knights proved themselves worthy again of being regarded state title contenders by defeating three of the county’s best — Columbus, Palmetto and Southwest — to win their first county championship since 2007.

Sunset (22-2) capped the performance by surviving a hard-fought 25-22, 21-25, 15-11 match against Southwest in the final match.

Juan De La Hoz led the Knights with 13 kills, 12 digs and three aces. Alex Lazo and Junior Franklin each had six kills. Setter Everett La France had 27 assists.

“As the season has gone on, the kids have gotten more comfortable with each other on the court,” Sunset coach Camilo Gaitan said. “I’m very happy overall with our execution. We just have to get over the speed bumps teams face on the road to state.”

Sunset, last season’s state runner-up, is attempting to win its first state championship. The Knights have already defeated Orlando Bishop Moore to win the Smoothie King Invitational in March in what was a rematch of last year’s state final.

Sunset added three more impressive wins Tuesday.

The Eagles (19-5), who beat Miami Springs and Coral Reef to get to the final, were led by a strong effort from junior Ricky Reguera, who had several kills. Reguera helped Southwest force a decisive third set. But after pulling within a point at 8-7, De La Hoz helped the Knights pull away. Jose Morales had the match-clinching block.

Sunset also managed without libero Matt Kanakis, who injured his back this week in practice. Backup Zach Fernandez filled in and played well on the back row.

Sunset, which surpassed 400 wins for its program Monday, beat Columbus 25-18, 32-30 in the quarterfinals and beat Palmetto 25-18, 25-23 in the semifinals.

“I’m extremely proud of the hard work these guys have put in,” Gaitan said. “It’s been a long time since we won this tournament so it’s a welcome victory.”

GMAC quarterfinal — Palmetto d. Varela, 25-18, 25-23: Kory Schulz 7 kills, 9 digs; Devin Decker 6 kills, 6 digs; Tarek Saade 19 assists, 5 kills, 6 digs.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category