Mikey Denver goes up for one of his three blocks. | Credit: Gary Kim

The Santa Barbara High boys’ volleyball team displayed impressive depth in a season-opening sweep (25-18, 25-16, 25-20) of visiting Newbury Park on Wednesday night.

The Dons rolled out 12 players with very little drop off and flashed the potential to once again contend in the Channel League.

“I’m always very appreciative and lucky to coach at Santa Barbara High. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of good players,” said longtime Santa Barbara High coach Chad Arneson. “I feel like we have a good team with good chemistry.”

Santa Barbara’s junior setter Ford Harman was out with an illness and sophomore Chase Holdren stepped up in his absence. Harman finished with two ace serves and dished out 17 assists as the conductor of the Santa Barbara attack.

“To come in and perform says a lot about what he can do for us. He’s got a lot of potential and he’s a gamer,” Arneson said. “He looked like one of our best servers. He was very smooth.”

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Another highlight of the match was the return of 6’6” junior outside hitter Raglan Kear, who was at Santa Barbara as a freshman but transferred to San Clemente as a sophomore. His presence in the lineup was a game-changer as his size and skill immediately raised the ceiling of the team.

“He belongs back at Santa Barbara High where he’s from,” Arneson said. “He adds a lot of depth, and you can see how much he’s gotten better.”

Will Harman led the way for Santa Barbara with seven kills, five aces, and two blocks. Mikey Denver was a force in the middle with five kills and three blocks.

Newbury Park cut its deficit to 20-19 in set three, but Santa Barbara closed the match on a 5-1 run capped off by a spike down the line by Austin Jaimes that clinched the match.

The Dons were slated to face off against perennial powerhouse Mira Costa on Friday, but the match will be postponed due to the potential for heavy rain and flooding in the Santa Barbara area. 

San Marcos, 3; Valencia, 0

The Royals swept the Vikings on the road 25-19, 25-16, 25-8. San Marcos will travel to the Redondo Union Tournament on Friday.


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