The home opener for the San Marcos High girls volleyball team was a wild ride that culminated in a 25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 19-25, 15-11 victory for visiting Arroyo Grande on Thursday night.
The Eagles captured the last of many momentum shifts late in set five and narrowly avoided a stunning collapse after crusing to a 2-0 set lead.
“We love having these tight matches because it really gets the girls to compete and have to pull stuff out on their own,” said Arrroyo Grande first-year coach Courtney Zimmerman. “San Marcos is a phenomenal team and the mistakes that they made we made in return so (mistakes) were very evenly spaced out in the match.”
Arroyo Grande featured a dynamic attacing duo in Makenna Wolfe and Savannah Porterfield, who set the tone with efficient hitting in the first two sets.
Porterfield racked up six kills in the opening set and Wolfe emphatically put away the final kill to give the Eagles a 1-0 set lead.
In set two, San Marcos continued to struggle with ball control and rhythm on offense and as the errors mounted Arroyo Grande pulled away for a 2-0 set lead.
“We know the team that we have and the potential is even deeper than that so it’s a bummer when you don’t play that well in the first two,” said San Marcos coach Dwayne Hauschild.
San Marcos inserted Allie Fryklund into the match at setter in set three and the momentum of the match shifted almost immediately.
Fryklund’s presence created advantageous matchups for San Marcos in certain rotations and she flashed in excellent rapport with key attackers Madison Oriskovich and Taylor Wilson.
Oriskovich finished with a team high 13 kills and Wilson added 11 kills. San Marcos clinched set three with a well-placed tap over the net by Brooke Moore.
“We put in a very untested setter in Allie Fryklund so that we could utilize Bella Johnson as an opposite in the next rotation to give us a little more offense,” Hauschild said. “It actually worked out really well. Bella played fantastic and Allie set the ball.”
Fryklund is a standout softball player, but has not played much volleyball over the past year, which made her stellar performance setting all the more impressive.
After easily dispatching Arroyo Grande in set four, The Royals quickly fell behind 7-3 in the fifth set after a series of hitting errors. Once again San Marcos regrouped and evened the match at 11-11 on a hitting error by the Eagles.
But that’s as close as San Marcos would come to victory as Arroyo Grande reeled off four straight points to capture the victory.
The Royals fell to 1-1 on the young season and Arroyo Grande improved to 2-0.