BVB: Rising Chargers roll over San Marcos

“We just keep getting better.”

The phrase has been like a mantra for Dos Pueblos boys volleyball coach Chris Hughes through the first two months of the season.

The Chargers showed Thursday night how much they’ve improved since the start of Channel League play. They played with great efficiency in crushing crosstown rival San Marcos, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21, at Sovine Gym.

The win evened DP’s overall record to 10-10 and raised its league mark to 4-2. San Marcos fell to 14-6, 3-2.

Middles Jackson Wopat and Cameron Fry combined for 17 kills and Fry had three stuff blocks to lead a balanced DP attack. The effective middle offense opened things up for the outside hitters. Drew Kenyon had seven kills with just one error, Jonny Davis had five kills and Josh Lemons and C.J. Zajic each contributed four kills. Zajic also had two blocks and Lemons one.

The defense and ball control was sharper, too. Libero Niko Plessons passed well and continually frustrated San Marcos hitters with his digging. He finished with seven digs. Kenyon led the team with nine digs, Nate Holmes picked up eight, Davis had six and Lemons added five.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time … We’re a different team,” Hughes said. “You saw it. And we still have room to grow, and the guys really believe that. We’re truly going forward. We found our niche and it showed tonight. There wasn’t a lot of errors, clean volleyball for us. One of the things I really liked was the confidence in the guys. They were like, ‘We’re better and we’re going to show it in our play.’”

That supreme confidence was evident in the third set. San Marcos jump out to a 4-0 lead, but the Chargers battled back. Zajic started the rally with a block, Wopat crushed an overpass and Zajic recorded a kill to make it 4-3.

Shane Hauschild got hot for San Marcos and his hitting helped the Royals take a 14-10 advantage.

The Chargers never lost their composure and evened the score at 17-17 on a Wopat kill. The score was tied at 21-21 when DP called a timeout. San Marcos committed a service error out of the timeout and Fry followed with a solo block for a two-point advantage. Wopat served an ace and Kenyon put the ball away to complete the sweep.

“We’re still a little bit out of sorts,” San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz said of his team’s play. “We got some bright spots, but we’re making enough mistakes on our side of the net to let other teams beat us right now.

“We’re disappointed but we’re not crippled right now. We got to get a little more in sync.”

DP, meanwhile, is like that locomotive picking up steam.