By Mark Tennis and Kirstin Olsen
The Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions last weekend in Santa Barbara, Calif., offered the possibilities for some upsets in a match-style tournament, and it did not disappoint.
Previous FAB 50 No. 6 Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) dominated the field with some spirited play and ended its trip with a huge win over previous No. 2 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) in the final.
The Aztecs defeated the Mustangs 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 and finished the weekend 4-0. Sophomore opposite Jake Arnitz led the way with 53 kills in the tournament. He had 17 in the final and added five blocks.
Since Esperanza is not a solid No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section behind FAB 50 No. 1 Loyola of Los Angeles - the Aztecs are not top-ranked in the Orange County Register's poll - that helped clear the way for unbeaten Wheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.) to grab the No. 2 ranking in this week's FAB 50.
Wheaton Warrenville South could still get hopped at some point by a top California team, but if the Tigers were to finish unbeaten and win a state title, its chances of being the FAB 50 mythical champion are better this week than before.