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Members of the St. Joseph boys volleyball team, including coach Josh Wong, left, pose for a photo after beating Pioneer Valley Tuesday night, clinching the Ocean League championship.

St. Joseph clinched the Ocean League boys volleyball championship Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Pioneer Valley.

The Knights capped off the win with a 25-17 victory over the Panthers in the final set. 

St. Joseph improved to 11-1 in league matches. The Knights are 13-9 overall. Nipomo moved to 9-2 in league matches with a 3-0 win over Nipomo. The Titans can earn a share of the league title if they win their season finale Thursday and the Knights lose theirs.

St. Joseph closes out the regular season Thursday night with a home match against Mission Prep, which lost 3-0 to Nipomo on Tuesday. 

St. Joseph sophomore Steven Vasquez led the Knights with 13 kills and four blocks. Junior Vincent Geronimo added seven kills and five blocks and senior Jack Blackburn added four kills. 

Sophomore Nate Nunez chipped in three kills and five blocks. 

"They all could not do it without their leader in senior JP Smith," said St. Joseph coach Josh Wong. Smith dished out 20 assists and smacked four serves in the victory.

The league title highlights a remarkable turnaround for the Knights. St. Joseph, playing against larger schools in the PAC 8 League last season, went 1-13 overall and 1-9 in league matches a year ago, their lone win coming against the Panthers.

Pioneer Valley, also in the midst of an improved season, fell to 13-16 overall and 7-5 in league matches. The Panthers close out their regular season Thursday with a match against Orcutt Academy to be played at Orcutt Jr. High.

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Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports

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