#18 Kaumana Carreira hits through the San Marcos block. | Credit: Victor Bryant

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – A run to the CIF Division 2 semifinals by the San Marcos High boys’ volleyball team came to a screeching halt at Tesoro High on Saturday, as the host Titans established their rhythm early in set one and notched a 25-20, 25-22, 25-19 sweep.

It’s the second consecutive year in a row that Tesoro has eliminated San Marcos from the playoffs as the Titans beat the Royals in the second round last season.

This time around, San Marcos had no answer for Tesoro’s dynamic attacking duo of Kaumana Carreira and Nathan Draper, but battled to the bitter end with a spot in the CIF Championship match on the line.

“They are a very good team, very good program, well coached and they have a tremendous amount of talent,” said San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz of Tesoro. “We didn’t play bad volleyball, we just ran into a better team tonight. They had a little bit more fire power than we did, and I thought they played better defense.”

Zach Willbanks led the way for San Marcos with 10 kills. Luke Walker chipped in nine kills and Aiden Pazier finished with eight kills. 

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San Marcos trailed 24-18 in set four following a kill by Carreira, but reeled off four consecutive points capped off by an Aiden Pazier block to cut the deficit to 24-22. However, the opportunity to steal the set fizzled when Carreirra clinched the set with a cross-court spike.

“We’ve played well at home and being in front of our own fans has been huge. I think the guys realize they need to have a sense of urgency in the playoffs and that we’re not going to get another chance,” said Tesoro coach Pat Eaton. “Our motto is to ‘get one more day.’ We want to practice. We want to stay in the gym.”

In set three, back-to-back kills by Draper put Tesoro ahead 20-14 forcing a San Marcos timeout. The Titans went on to clinch the set and the match on a San Marcos serve error.

“We had an outstanding season. We beat a lot of really good teams,” Kuntz said. “To get to be Channel League champions, I was very proud of our guys.”

Tesoro will take on Servite in the CIF Championship match. 

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