Christian Widmer had it made as the setter for the San Marcos boys volleyball team. With lineup full of potent hitters, he could set the ball anywhere and get results.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
Shane Hauschild was Widmer’s go-to guy, and the 6-6 outside hitter consistently delivered with crushing spikes.
The outstanding setter-hitter combination led San Marcos to a magical season. The Royals won their first Channel League championship since 2003, posted 28-4 record, captured two tournaments and reached CIF Division 2 Final Four.
Presidio Sports is pleased to name Widmer and Hauschild as co-Most Valuable Players of the All-City Boys Volleyball team.
The players selected to the team are Baker Johnson of San Marcos, Tristan Fauntleroy and Quinn Denkensohn of Santa Barbara, Niko Plesons and Nate Holmes of Dos Pueblos and Ryan Bickett of Laguna Blanca.
The players will be honored before the Santa Barbara Foresters baseball game at 1 p.m., on Sunday, June 8 at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Hauschild and Widmer both excel as athletes and students. Hauschild earned All-CIF honors in volleyball and water polo and received a scholarship from UCSB to play both sports. Widmer played point guard on the Royals basketball team and was a second-team all-Channel League selection. He’s a three-time all-Channel League first-team pick in volleyball and league co-MVP with Hauschild. He’s been accepted to UC Irvine and plans to join the men’s volleyball team as a walk-on.
Widmer’s smarts, athleticism and court savvy made him special as a setter. His decisions on the court made him a hitter’s best friend and an opponent’s nightmare. He averaged 12 assists per set and was one of the premier setters in Southern California.
“He’s the best boys volleyball setter I’ve ever coached,” coach Roger Kuntz said. “He successfully led us to many championships and was the heart and soul of our team.”
Hauschild was Widmer’s main man. Long and lean with good jumping ability, he punished the ball — and blockers’ fingers — with his whip-like arm swing. When the Royals’ needed a sideout, Hauschild usually got the call and delivered with thunder. He averaged more than six kills per set and was the Channel League kill leader for the second straight year
“He was the thunder in our offense. He was also our primary passer,” said Kuntz. “In addition to being our go-to guy, Shane was also our best server and blocker.
“Players like Shane come around once or twice in a lifetime or coaching career. He’ll definitely go down as one of the best players to come through San Marcos boys volleyball and San Marcos sports for quite some time.”
Based upon on-court performance and team leadership, the All-City All-Star Teams are selected by Presidio Sports to recognize the top high school student-athletes competing on the South Coast from Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria.
Each All-City selection will receive a special award certificate and be recognized online at PresidioSports.com and in print in the Santa Barbara Sentinel. The entire All-City Team will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony at this Sunday’s Santa Barbara Foresters baseball game. The game begins at 1 p.m., but the All-City honorees should arrive at UCSB’s stadium by 12:40 p.m. to be included in the pre-game ceremony.
PRESIDIO SPORTS’ ALL-CITY VOLLEYBALL TEAM
CO-MVP: Christian Widmer, Sr. San Marcos
CO-MVP: Shane Hauschild, Sr. San Marcos
BAKER JOHNSON, Sr. San Marcos: Johnson’s tenacity, tremendous jumping and quick arm swing enabled him to beat taller blockers on the outside. He averaged four kills per set. “Baker was the lightning in our offense,” said coach Roger Kuntz. “He also was our primary passer and our best player on defense.” Johnson plans to attend Point Loma University.
TRISTAN FAUNTLEROY, Sr. Santa Barbara: Fauntleroy was beast of a hitter on the outside for the Dons, pounding 286 kills on the season. “He was pretty clutch and pretty consistent throughout the year,” Santa Barbara coach Chad Arneson said. “We relied on him and he stepped it up for us. If we needed a kill, he came through for us.” Fauntleroy is headed to New York University.
QUINN DENKENSOHN, Sr. Santa Barbara: A dependable player at the net and an outstanding defender and passer in the back row. “He worked into becoming a six-rotation player,” said Arneson. “He had a presence on the court and did a really good job. He stabilized our defense.“ Denkensohn’s college choice is Colorado State.
NIKO PLESONS, Sr. Dos Pueblos: He could play any position on the court and play it well. He had 289 digs, 56 aces and 39 kills playing libero and outside hitter in 24 matches. He also provided leadership for a DP team that finished second in the Channel League and advanced to the CIF quarterfinals. “The kid really stepped up and kept his team involved and has never been shy about celebrating for his teammates,” said coach Ehren Hug. “The kid loves this sport and played it hard for DP. It was truly an honor to coach a stud like this and I wish him the best of luck as he pursues a spot at Penn State next season on the men’s volleyball team.”
NATE HOLMES, Sr. Dos Pueblos: An incredibly versatile player for DP, Holmes posted 191 kills, 129 digs and 83 assists. “Nate was the whole package for us this season,” said Hug. “Nate was one of our best passers and defenders all season long and, to look out there and see him standing next to Niko, I knew we always had a shot. Nate was such a smart hitter using a big block to tool, chop around, or blow right past.” Holmes plans to attend Cal-Berkeley.
RYAN BICKETT, Jr. Laguna Blanca: Bickett was a digging machine, helping the Owls to their best season in program history, a 21-4 record and CIF semifinal berth. He had 498 digs on the season, including a record-setting 51 in a five-set loss to Garden Grove in the semifinals. He usually started the Laguna Blanca attack with his passing and digging. On a passing rating scale of 3.0, he posted a 2.6 average. “… We had, in my opinion, the best libero in our division of CIF and even one of the better back-row players in town,” Laguna coach Dillan Bennett said. “Ryan kept us in system both in serve receive and on defense this season. Almost every kill or block scored this season was connected to Ryan in some way. We were very fortunate to have him as a member of our team this year, and I look forward to watching his development for his senior year.”