Kincade Avery finished with a team-high ten kills. | Credit: Victor Bryant

A strong start to the season for the Laguna Blanca boys’ volleyball team continued in its Tri-Valley League opener against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. 

The Owls controlled the match with tough serving and cruised to a 25-17, 25-10, 25-11 victory.

“To get a league win under our belts early is very nice. We’ve got a long way to go toward where we’re going to be,” said Laguna Blanca coach Jason Donnelly. “It’s that first step in reaching some of our long-term goals that involve the CIF playoffs.”

With the win, Laguna Blanca improves to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in Tri-Valley League play.

The Owls racked up 16 ace serves as a team, including nine by sophomore outside hitter Tyson Deveze, who garnered MVP honors at the recent Chadwick tournament and was named the male SBART Athlete of the Week at Monday’s press luncheon. 

“We have such an aggressive serving team and they have been working really hard at getting a little bit more consistent,” Donnelly said. “Having the opportunity to start the point off with a tough serve really puts the pressure on the other team. It allows us to set up our transition defense a lot, and we were able to do a really nice job of that tonight.”

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Senior Kincade Avery led the way for Laguna Blanca offensively with 10 kills. Deveze chipped in seven kills and five digs. Setter Liam Knezevic dished out 25 assists and notched four aces.

Deveze broke open the second set with three straight aces that gave the Owls a 7-2 lead. Laguna Blanca never looked back and went on to clinch the set on a St. Bonaventure serve error into the net.

Set three was tight early as a cross-court spike by St. Bonaventure outside hitter Owen Peterson evened the score at 6-6. However, Laguna Blanca ripped off six straight points capped off by back-to-back ace serves by Knezevic to take a 12-6 lead.

The Owls increased their lead to 23-17 on a Kincaid kill and clinched the match following consecutive hitting errors by the Seraphs.

“I’ve got a combination of guys that not only have really good experience in high-level volleyball, but also just love the game and are willing to work,” Donnelly said. “Kincaid and Thomas [Couvillion] — our two captains, one middle blocker and one outside hitter — they’ve been through the ringer and they know what it’s like to compete at a high level and they are willing to do what it takes to get our team where we want to go.”


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