Dons sweep short-handed Royals


San Marcos’ kill leader Carly Yarnell reaches for a slightly off-target set during a point against Santa Barbara High.

With Kristen Berlo unavailable because of a sprained ankle suffered on Monday afternoon, San Marcos’ girls volleyball team fell to Santa Barbara High 25-23, 27-25, 25-13 in Tuesday night’s Channel League match.

The Dons swept after fighting off three consecutive set points in the second game to go up 2-0 in the match. From there, the Dons used momentum to dominate the third game on the way to victory.

“I think we just used the spirit from the crowd and the excitement,” said Dons senior Frankie Lewis.

Lewis collected 10 kills while Sydney Riegert was the team leader with 11.

The Royals could have used their NCAA Division 1 recruit.

“I, including my other coaches, didn’t have a problem with her being out because we have a lot of girls that can step up,” said Royals head coach Erica Downing. “I just don’t think they did it tonight.”

Berlo is not expected to play in Thursday’s league match but hopes to return next week.

Carly Yarnell ended up as San Marcos’ kill leader with seven while freshman Chloe Allen added five.

“They’re a fighting team so I knew they could come back even without (Berlo),” Lewis said.

Both teams entered the match with 1-1 league records. It’s a wide-open Channel League so far with every team having recorded at least one win and one loss already.

“The league is so balanced this year,” Lewis said. “Us pulling ahead 2-1 is huge for us.”

Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos are tied atop the league standings at 2-1. The Dons and the Chargers meet on Thursday.

“Getting a win on our homecourt is what we really kind of stressed this week,” said Dons head coach John Gannon. “We still have DP on Thursday but this one is really important for us.”

Gannon took the time to praise his setter Emma Mascari.

“All in all, I was really happy with how Emma Mascari set tonight,” Gannon said. “We switched to a 5-1 and she’s just been doing a great job. Really, she’s been giving the hitters the opportunity to do something with the ball.”

San Marcos falls to 1-2 in league.

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