BVB: Dons make statement with sweep over Royals

Santa Barbara High is the reigning Channel League champion in boys volleyball.

The Dons made that abundantly clear to San Marcos Tuesday night in their Channel League clash at J.R. Richards Gym, dominating the crosstown match from the first serve for a 25-12, 25-16, 25-16 sweep.

Dons Joe Rafferty hammers home a kill in the second game of the Game 3. (James Crosby Photo)

Santa Barbara’s Joe Rafferty hammers home a kill in the second game of the Game 3. (James Crosby Photo)

Santa Barbara (12-6, 3-0) was sharp in all phases of the game and was never pushed in any of the sets. Outside hitter Tristan Fauntleroy led a balanced attack with 15 kills, Channing Peake put away 11 kills in the middle and had five blocks, and Joe Rafferty added 10 kills from the outside.

For San Marcos (13-5, 2-1), Shane Hauschild was the only player in double figures with 11 kills.

“We knew what we needed to do against San Marcos, and our boys showed up,” Santa Barbara coach Chad Arneson said. “They came ready to play. They showed we’re still the team to beat.”

Santa Barbara came into the match after suffering a pair of losses to powerhouse teams in Hawaii last weekend. The Dons apparently learned from those defeats and took it to a San Marcos team that last month reached the finals of the Dos Pueblos Invitational and knocked off Dos Pueblos in a five-set match.

“There had been a lot hype about San Marcos in this town,” Fauntleroy said. “They got second (in the DPI) and they’re a good team, but we brought our game.”

He noted that after the losses in Hawaii, “we decided we needed to turn things around and show Santa Barbara is the best best team.”

The Dons used float serves to get San Marcos out of sync and they dominated the play at the net.

Dons Triston Fauntleroy finesses a ball past the Royals Taylor Mann in the third game.

Dons Triston Fauntleroy finesses a ball past the Royals Taylor Mann in the third game.

“Clearly, we were flat tonight, but I’m not going to take anything away from them,” San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz said. “They won the serve and receive game and, quite honesty, we were not serving tough and our passes were not getting up (to the setter), and we were not in system tonight. When that happens, we’re very predictable and they’re a very, very good team. In order to compete with a very good team like that, who has been the Channel League champions for the last decade, you got to bring your A-plus game and we didn’t bring it tonight.”

Santa Barbara worked the middle early with Peake and Quinn Denkensohn putting balls away to help open up a 10-5 lead in the first set. Peake also was a force blocking. He notched back-to-back blocks to pad the lead to 22-12 and he started the second set with a solo block.

Fauntleroy paced the Dons in the second set with four kills and had a combo block with Peake.

Fauntleroy said communication was the key ingredient in the win.

“We were talking the whole game,” he said. “We were riled up, talking through the net, talking to each other; we just never let up. We were like a wave.”

The Dons opened the third set with a 6-1 lead and never looked back.

“Credit to them,” Kuntz said. “We couldn’t find a chink in their armor tonight.”

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