Lakewood’s Storm helps knock DP out in 2nd round

His first name is Storm, and the senior outside hitter for Lakewood High delivered thunder bolts to spark his team to a four-set victory over Dos Pueblos in a CIF Division 2 second-round match at San Marcos’ Thunderhut on Thursday.

Storm Fa’aguta was Lakewood’s go-to guy and he produced to the tune of 35 kills in a 25-19, 25-15, 23-25, 25-23 decision over the Chargers.

The match was moved to San Marcos because of a power outage in the DP gym.

Fa’aguta’s play sparked Lakewood in the first two sets. His tremendous jumping ability and crushing spikes from all over the court had fans in awe.

“He brings everything,” coach Devon Taylor said of the BYU-bound senior. “He plays defense well, he serves really well. Obviously, you see he hits really well. He helps us out in every aspect of the game. Having a player like that just encourages everyone to play at a high level.”

Dos Pueblos picked up its game in the third set behind the hitting of Matt Sessler and Nate Holmes, the blocking of Kurtis Randmaa and the defense of Niko Plesons.

“It took us a couple of games to catch on,” DP coach Ehren Hug said. “The kids’ perseverance and their attitude, they kept with it and we found a little daylight in the third game. I’m just proud of them for fighting and keeping our name, DP, solid and strong. It made our school proud tonight.”

Dos Pueblos was down 21-19 in the fourth set, but a Lakewood serving error and a kill by Sessler knotted the score. Consecutive net violations by the Lancers gave DP a 23-21 advantage, but the Chargers couldn’t close out the set.

Lakewood sided out and capitalized on a couple of errors to go up 24-23. The Lancers closed out the match on a stuff block by Mark Jessop.

Despite the loss, Hug liked how his team battled.

“It was probably our best match of the season, and you want to end that way, win or lose,” he said. “We went down swinging. We got blocked but we got a rip at it.”

Holmes and Sessler had 16 and 15 kills, respectively, to lead DP (15-12). Randmaa was a force at the net with six blocks.

“Matt and Nate really showed up tonight,” Hug said. “Sess played with a lot of confidence tonight and looked like he was having a good time. That’s what we like to see.”

While it was a bummer not being able play in its own gym, Hug said the atmosphere was good at San Marcos.

“All the crap that went on today with our gym, losing our lights and having to come over here all got washed away once we got on the court and got to play together.”

And they played together to the end.