Senior Opposite Luke Walker finished with 12 kills. | Credit: Victor Bryant

After navigating a tough early-season non-league schedule, the San Marcos High School boys’ volleyball team was ready for arch-rival Santa Barbara High.

The Royals dominated throughout to notch a 25-19, 25-21, 25-17 sweep of the Dons on Tuesday night at the Thunderhut. 

“We’ve got a lot of experience right now on the court, they’ve played together, they’ve grown up together,” said San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz. “Good win for us tonight.”

San Marcos 6’3” senior setter Hansen Streeter was sublime in his proficiency, spreading the ball around to his attackers and keeping Santa Barbara off-balance.

Jack Wilson led the way for San Marcos with 13 kills on 17 attempts. Luke Walker was a handful on the backside and finished with 12 kills on 18 attempts as well as eight digs. Mason Rice, who played at Santa Barbara last season, had a strong performance against his former teammates, racking up nine kills.

“He’s the smooth behind our team right now,” said Kuntz of Streeter, who also contributed six digs and a block.

It took a while for the two teams to feel each other out as set one was marred by unforced errors; however, San Marcos was able to pull away late. A kill by Wilson gave the Royals a 21-16 lead and Rice clinched the set, 25-19, with a powerful spike.

San Marcos never trailed in set two, but the Dons were able to cut their deficit to 22-19 on a spike down the line by Will Harman. A solo block by Rice put San Marcos on the brink of a 2-0 set lead at 24-20 and the Royals clinched the set on a Santa Barbara hitting error.

In set three, a kill by Santa Barbara’s 6’6” outside hitter Raglan Kear cut the Dons’ deficit to 12-11, but San Marcos immediately ripped off a 9-2 run and took a 21-13 lead on a Santa Barbara hitting error. 

The Dons never found a consistent rhythm and were not at the top of their game.

“San Marcos played better than us tonight. Obviously we had a lot of unforced errors and our serving wasn’t strong,” said Santa Barbara coach Chad Arneson. “I did think we would come ready to play and unfortunately we didn’t show up.”

A bright spot for Santa Barbara was the play of middle blocker Mikey Denver, who finished with a team-high 12 kills and only had one hitting error.

San Marcos will travel to play at Ventura in another Channel league contest on Thursday. Santa Barbara will host Pacifica.


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