#13 Mason Rice finished with 12 kills and five blocks | Credit: Victor Bryant

The CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs has brought the best out of the San Marcos High boys’ volleyball team.

After a tight first set the Royals found their rhythm and notched a 25-23, 25-21, 25-17 victory over Anaheim Canyon on Saturday afternoon at the Thunderhut.

“We definitely played our best match of the year tonight,” said San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz. Of all the tournaments, even the Dos Pueblos tournament that we won and other things, we brought our A-game in here tonight.”

San Marcos setter Hansen Streeter had great success keeping Canyon off balance by spreading the ball around to his attackers. Jack Wilson led the way with 16 kills, Mason Rice added 12 kills and Luke Walker chipped in eleven kills.

“When we’re passing great and we’re smooth we have big time arm swings coming from the front, the backside, and the back row,” Kuntz said. “I thought we passed really well tonight.”

The visiting Comanches came out of the gates strong and appeared poised to give the Royals all they could handle in set one.  Canyon’s Loyola Marymount-bound outside hitter Tyler Howard made his presence felt early as the Comanches jumped out to a 17-16 lead in set one on a huge spike by Howard.

Canyon increased its lead to 22-19 after back-to-back kills by Christian Lundberg and Ben Lloyd. However, the Royals responded with a 6-1 run capped off by a spike by Jack Wilson off the block to clinch the set. 

San Marcos took a 7-2 lead in set two on a kill by Walker. The Royals never trailed on their way to a 2-0 set lead as they clinched the second set on a spike from the back row by Wilson.

“All of their jump servers got us out of system in sets two and three,” said Canyon coach Matthew Silva. “We weren’t pushed really hard in the Crestview league and I think that kind of bit us in the tail here at the end.”

Set three was close early as Canyon closed its deficit to 12-11 after a San Marcos lifting violation. From there San Marcos put together an 11-4 run and took a 23-15 lead on a solo clock by Rice. Wilson went on to clinch the set three and the match with a powerful spike through the block.

San Marcos (27-7) will host Servite in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m.

Santa Barbara, 3; Aliso Niguel, 0

The Dons advance to the quarterfinals with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-14 sweep of Also Niguel. Raglan Kear led the way for Santa Barbara with 18 kills.

Dos Pueblos, 3; St. Francis, 2

The Chargers overcame a 2-1 set deficit and punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a 25-21, 17-25, 14-25, 25-20,15-13 victory. Jan Schimdtchen led the way for Dos Pueblos with 13 kills. Micah Goss added 10 kills, three blocks and two aces.


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