GVB: Rottman sparks Dons to sweep over DP

Santa Barbara High's Katie Gallivan (left) and Lexi Rottman block a shot by McKenna Goss of Dos Pueblos.

Santa Barbara High’s Katie Gallivan (left) and Lexi Rottman block a shot by McKenna Goss of Dos Pueblos during the Dons’ sweep. (Wade Carr photos)

In a tight first set, Lexi Rottman stepped up and made the plays that lifted Santa Barbara to a victory.

That win propelled the Dons to a 25-23, 25-17, 25-16 sweep over Dos Pueblos in a Channel League girls volleyball match Tuesday night at J.R. Richards Gym.

First place Santa Barbara improves to 4-1 in league and 12-8 overall. Dos Pueblos falls to 1-4 and 3-9

Down 21-19, Rottman set Tessa Dewell for a side out to start a five-point Santa Barbara run. An ace by Tatum Vedder tied the score, and the Dons took the lead for good when Rottman delivered a shoot set to Lourda Weger, who put it away.

Rottman scored on a tip off a DP block and she finished the match by stuffing a Charger attack after an overpass.

?She?s such a special player,? Santa Barbara coach John Gannon said of the junior setter. ?Lexi does a great job; she?s smart, she?s savvy. She runs a good offense. It was great to see her have a great match here.?

Lourda Weger of Santa Barbara blasts a ball through the Dos Pueblos block.

Lourda Weger of Santa Barbara blasts a ball through the Dos Pueblos block.

Rottman did a nice job spreading the ball around. Weger led the team with 11 kills, and four other players had three kills apiece: Dewell, middles Lucie Simmons and Katie Gallivan and Jessyca Beksa. She added to the offense with four aces and a block.

?I?m happy for Lexi. She?s battled shin splints and through injuries. She?s tough.?

Libero Bailey Roach was solid in the back row for the Dons. She picked up 14 digs, many of them from DP?s big hitter McKenna Goss (7 kills).

Santa Barbara did a good job setting up their block against Goss, Natalie Klapp and Teah Burdick

?We talk about successful blocks as slowing the ball down or channeling the ball to Bailey, or blocking the ball. ? three successful blocks and two of them you don?t actually block the ball,? explained Gannon. ?If you channel the ball to our defender, that?s almost as good because we can run transition and go. If we get hitters channeling the ball to Bailey, that?s a plus for us.?

Dos Pueblos was in contention to win the first two sets, but the Chargers derailed themselves with errors.

?Our biggest thing ? and I don?t know how to coach it ? is how do we stop killing our runs?? said a frustrated DP coach Todd Garrett. ?Every team you play is going to have a run here and a run there and is going to give up a run here and a run there. We shoot ourselves in the foot. We get an ace and the next ball is in the net. We get a great block, and in the same rally we hit the ball out off the back wall.?

The Chargers trailed 17-15 after a Burdick kill, but Santa Barbara outscored them 8-2 the rest of the way, capitalizing on two hitting errors, a dig over the net, a tight set and a service error. An ace by Dewell finished the set.

Santa Barbara dominated the third set. Simmons scored the final point for the Dons.

“The three seniors played like seniors tonight,? said Gannon, referring to Simmons, Roach and Dewell. ?That is what you want in a rivalry match.?