There hasn’t been much fanfare, but it’s major news that Westlake High boys volleyball coach Doug Magorien is retiring after 35 years of coaching, including the last 17 seasons with the Warriors.
Heck, he’s even wearing a full beard to set the stage for the next phase.
“It’s just time,” he says. “We’ve had a great run. It’s time for other guys to take over the program.”
Before he leaves, the Warriors have quite a to-do list in their coach’s farewell campaign.
The first major goal was all but accomplished Friday night as host Westlake put together a sterling effort to sweep past second-place Calabasas, 25-21, 25-12, 25-22, and all but wrap up the Marmonte League championship.
Troy Magorien notched 20 kills, three blocks, three service aces and seven digs, Devon Johnson had 10 kills and setter Blake Crisp piled up 39 assists and five digs as the Warriors improve to 19-5 overall and 6-0 in league.
Reagen Cutler added eight kills, Danny Sutton had six and Alex Faille collected 11 digs.
Calabasas, despite a powerful performance from Martin Barbosa with 13 kills and two blocks, moves to 4-2 in league and 16-3 overall.
With two victories already in the bank against top challengers Calabasas and Newbury Park, Westlake would need to suffer some improbable losses to miss out on the league crown.
“We’re certainly in good shape, and that was one of our major goals,” said Magorien. “Really, what I want most now is for these players to have some fun and make a deep run in the playoffs.”
It’s also the final season for youngest son Troy Magorien, who’s now the captain and unabashed team leader in his senior campaign. He led the charge against the well-regarded Coyotes, who are ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 2.
“We were ready to play tonight, especially in the first two games,” said Troy Magorien. “I wasn’t that happy in game 3, but we managed to pull it together and finish off the win.”
After controlling game 1 and dominating game 2, Westlake came out flat in game 3 and trailed 8-4.
That’s when Troy drew a red card for his, well, conversation with the referee and the Warriors were penalized a point to fall behind 9-4.
“I tend to get emotional out there and said some things I shouldn’t have said,” said Troy Magorien. “My dad gave me the dead eye and I realized I needed to shut up and play.”
Westlake fell behind 10-5 and 12-6, before launching a 9-3 spurt that tied the set at 15-15. Following kills by Troy Magorien and Johnson, Westlake took the lead for good.
Troy Magorien thinks the Warriors are capable of big accomplishments in next month’s Division 1 playoffs. Westlake has been ranked in the Top 5 for most of the season.
“I feel like we’ve got a shot,” he said. “When we play well and we stay focused, I feel like we can play with anybody.”
Crisp, the standout junior setter, concurs. He said the Warriors are already in playoff mode.
“I feel like we’ve meshed pretty well as a team, and that showed in how we played tonight,” he said. “We knew it would be a challenge, and we needed to play a good game. I really think we’ve been playing at a high level for awhile. It’s going to be fun to see what we can do in the playoffs.”
Calabasas coach Cory Chandler says his team is also excited for the playoffs.
“We’re a little banged up, so I thought tonight might be a little difficult for us,” he said. “To be honest, we’re really looking forward to the playoffs now. We’ve got a chance to put it together and make a run.”
For Calabasas, Joshua Strick added five kills and one block.