BVB: Chargers make moves on Royals

San Marcos vs Dos Pueblos volleyball

Dos Pueblos’ Eli Wopat sets a ball over the net in Tuesday’s match against San Marcos. (Presidio Sports Photos)


Eli Wopat had 21 kills, Will Parker finished with 21 digs, and Dos Pueblos succeeded in avenging an earlier Channel League loss to San Marcos on Tuesday in a 25-19, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22 decision at DP.

The result muddies the Channel League playoff picture some. San Marcos (5-3) was looking to clinch second place in the league standings but will have a coin flip with the Chargers (4-3) to decide the playoff positioning for CIF if Dos Pueblos defeats Ventura in its final match.

Dos Pueblos lost in five sets to the Royals in their first meeting.

“Going up two, losing in five leaves a really bad taste in your mouth,” said Chargers head coach Ehren Hug. “Not that it was that, but it’s just a crosstown rivalry, at home, last opportunity for some seniors, they wanted to go out.

“I can’t think of a better way than Mark Raphael getting back there and serving a tough ace for match point, senior year, against crosstown rivals. So I’m happy for him, I’m happy for the boys.”

Hug credited the win on a host of players getting the job done. He first singled out the defense of Parker, the starting libero, and bench player Trey Klopstein.

Hug went on to praise Jack Burns, who delivered a balanced effort with 12 digs and five kills, and outside hitter Elliott Brainerd, who added nine kills. Ethan Brier’s quality play at middle has allowed Brainerd to move to the outside.

“We definitely had a different look, a different team than the first time we played,” Hug said.

Connor Everman hits through a Dos Pueblos block on Tuesday.

Connor Everman hits through a Dos Pueblos block on Tuesday.

Jake Pighetti and Jake Castanha led the Royals with eight kills. Libero Sean Estabrooks recorded a game-high 22 digs.

“We were a little up and down,” said Royals head coach Jon Newton. “We had moments of very good volleyball and kind of moments where we shot ourselves in the foot.”

San Marcos’ best came in the second set. The Royals never trailed and led 12-5 early on. They led 24-17 but Dos Pueblos fought off four set points before the Royals tied the match at one set apiece.

Dos Pueblos answered with poise, never trailing in Game 3.

“It was just our passing,” Hug said of the Game 2 loss. “We figured that out and I asked the boys to step up. They did.”

The Chargers trailed for much of the fourth set. The last tie was at 20-20; then DP took the lead for good on two straight kills by Brainerd. The two teams would exchange points until the Chargers won at 23-22 and 24-22 to take the match.

“I think our back row play and our scrappiness – trying to touch every ball that came over – I think that was the difference,” Brainerd said.