Tesoro's 6'7" outside hitter Kaumana Carreira goes up for the spike. | Credit: Victor Bryant

A thrilling run to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals by the Dos Pueblos High boys’ volleyball team came to a screeching halt on Wednesday night.

The Chargers couldn’t get over the hump against defending Division 2 champion Tesoro and suffered a 25-23, 25-19, 25-22 defeat at Sovine Gymnasium.

“There were a lot of volleyball plays tonight that we just couldn’t capitalize on. We couldn’t win the few long rallies and had hitting errors at the wrong time,” said Dos Pueblos coach Ehren Hug. “Tesoro is a great squad; they look super experienced. I know a lot of them have been playing together in club and in high school for a while, so you could just see that gel and chemistry over there.”

Dos Pueblos has been playing great volleyball of late. Victories over Westlake and St. Francis in the first two rounds of the playoffs built ample momentum going into the match against Tesoro. However, the Chargers’ primary attackers never found their footing against the Titans’ disciplined defense.

Juniors Micah Goss and Jan Schmidtchen led Dos Pueblos with seven kills apiece. Senior setter Grant Hughes and senior middle blocker Matthew Wilcox both finished with two solo blocks. 

Hughes, who will continue to play volleyball at Cal Lutheran next season, lamented that he will not have the opportunity to compete with the talented underclassmen on the Dos Pueblos roster in the future.

“I thought last year was going to be my best year at DP, but this year definitely was. We had a lot of juniors this year. Five out of our eight starters are juniors,” Hughes said. “They just kept developing, and I’m going to miss them. I really want to play with them for one more year. I think we can win it all next year.”

In set one, Dos Pueblos cut its 17-12 deficit to 23-22 on a solo block by Wilcox, but the Chargers followed with a serving error and a hitting error that allowed Tesoro to take a 1-0 set lead.

The Titans jumped out to a 13-5 lead in set two and never gave up the lead. The Chargers closed to within 23-19 on a kill by Hughes, but failed to score another point.

Set three was tight throughout. An ace serve by sophomore Kawin Ramko cut the Tesoro lead to 18-17 and forced a timeout. Later in the set, a kill by Schmidtchen brought Dos Pueblos within a point at 22-21, but Tesoro closed out the set with a 3-1 run to clinch the match.

“I’m proud of my boys; they definitely competed tonight,” Hug said. “They’ve been on such a great competitive mindset the last three weeks. It’s not the greatest way to end the season, but I like where we’re at and where we can pick up next season.”


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