Lightning Strikes in San Marcos’ Victory over Valencia

The Royals defeat Valencia in four sets despite power outage

Brennan Ware goes up for the spike.
Victor Bryant

A fierce thunderstorm and temporary power outage didn’t bother the San Marcos High boys’ volleyball team in its 25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16 victory over Valencia in a non-league contest on Tuesday night.

The Royals received excellent contributions all over the court and overwhelmed the visiting Vikings with a bevy of talented attackers.

“I was really happy with our serve receive and I though we passed really good,” said San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz. “We played really ferocious defense and our offense started to gel.”

San Marcos setter Tanner Stevens distributed the ball effectively on his way to match-high 40 assists. The Royals boast three quality middle hitters in senior Parker Bittner, junior Will Pace and sophomore Cade McLean.

Bittner finished with a team-high 15 kills and Mclean contributed eight kills and ten solo blocks.

“We’ve got the best setter in the area and it’s easy to overlook him, but he distributes the ball very well,” Kuntz said. “We’ve got three big middles and two big left-handed opposites. Most of our team is sophomores and juniors so we’re really happy about that.”

After cruising in the first two sets, San Marcos fell behind 17-11 in set three on a kill by Valencia opposite Wyatt Leiby. San Marcos climbed back to within 21-19 on an ace serve by Mclean.

A Will Pace kill cut the San Marcos deficit to 24-21, but was immediately followed by a power outage. After about two minutes of darkness power was restored and a Bittner kill cut the San Marcos deficit to 24-22.

Valencia went on to clinch set three on a kill by setter Daniel Ra.

However, San Marcos made some slight lineup adjustments in set four and jumped out to a 9-4 lead when Bittner and Stevens combined for a block. The Royals clinched set four and the match on a kill by Toby Still.

The victory was an important bounce back for San Marcos (8-2) after falling in straight sets to Newbury Park in its previous match.

“Newbury Park was a very elite team that came into our gym and really showed us a few of the holes that we had,” Kuntz said. “We wanted to make sure that on our serve-receive and our serving, those two fundamentals of volleyball, that we were stronger.”


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