MVB: Reynaert shines in SBCC sweep

Sean Reynaert had eight of his season-high 14 kills in the third set on Wednesday night and SBCC played one of its best men’s volleyball matches of the year in a 27-25, 25-23, 25-21 sweep of Long Beach at the Sports Pavilion.

Reynaert (pronounced Ray-nair) had only two errors and hit .545. Taylor McCluskey added 11 kills and a .321 hitting percentage.

“We worked as a team and we were really helping each other,” said Reynaert, a 6-5 opposite from Roeselare, Belgium, who also had four blocks. “We worked a lot this week on transition and that helped. We didn’t have many lapses tonight.”

Middle blocker To’o To’o added three kills and a season-best eight blocks. Jaiden Pina led in digs with nine. Reynaert is hitting .449 in his last four matches for SBCC, which has won four of its last five outings.

It was only the second 3-0 sweep of the season for the Vaqueros (9-4, 4-2) who moved into sole possession of third in the WSC behind Santa Monica (6-0) and El Camino (5-1). Long Beach (8-4, 3-3) is in fourth place after the first round of conference.

“Start to finish, this was our best match,” said coach Matt Jones. “That’s our best win and it was a key match. We needed to get a home win because beating them at their place is tough. It could come down to the second match at their place for a playoff spot. Hopefully, it won’t come to that if we can play a little better against Santa Monica and El Camino.”

The Vaqueros took an 18-12 lead in the opener on an ace by Kyle Smiley, then fell behind 21-20. They went on a 4-1 run to take a 24-22 advantage. The Vaqueros closed out the win on the third set point when To’o helped out on a block.

The second set was tight throughout with the Vaqueros in front for the latter half. A tip over the block by Reynaert made it 24-21 and he capped the 25-23 win a minute later with a cross-court kill.

“Our setters (Keaton Arutian and Smiley) did a good job of balancing the offense,” Jones noted. “We worked a lot on transition the last five days and our transition setting was better by everyone. We took aggressive swings when we had the opportunities. Our serving and defense were the difference.”

The Vaqueros built a 16-12 lead in the third set on a block by To’o and Shaft Wesley. The Vikings scored the next four points to tie it but they never took the lead. The Vaqueros broke open a 19-all tie with three straight points on a slam by Reynaert, an ace serve by Casey Alper and another kill by Reynaert.

At 23-21, McCluskey tooled a kill off the block, then served for the match. He took a set at the 10-foot line and blasted it off the block to secure the sweep.

The Vaqueros travel to first-place Santa Monica on Friday at 6 p.m.