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Royals shut down Scorpions' attack

San Marcos' Shane Hauschild rips a kill attempt through the block of Camarillo's Matt Yamashiro in Tuesday's non-league match at Hallack Gym.

March 6, 2013 6:18 AM

Mere days after finishing off a tough but successful early-season tournament, the San Marcos High boys volleyball team faced another challenge on Monday night, in the form of CIF-SS Division 3 power Camarillo, and its star outside hittter, Owen Yoshimoto, one of the state's top players.

"Going in, we knew that this was a gut check for us because we knew that they had the one player that is capable of winning games for his team by himself," Royals coach Roger Kunz said.

But while Yoshimoto had a match-high 20 kills, the Royals were able to neutralize him when it counted thanks to tough "soft" serving and offensive lifts from outside hitters Baker Johnson and Shane Hauschild in a 25-22, 25-17, 25-15 non-league sweep of the fourth-ranked Scorpions (0-2) at Maury Halleck Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.

Playing in front of none other than the eponymous Halleck himself, the Royals (6-2) continued their solid recent play, which began with a 4-2 mark in the Gold Division of the tough Redondo Union Tournament last weekend, and kept going through Tuesday's match.

"After a slow start that was a little disappointing, we got our sweat going and started serving tougher to get us back to playing our game," Kunz said.

While Yoshimoto had eight of his kills in the first set, including four to help his team jump out to a 5-1 lead to start the match, San Marcos countered with Hauschild (14 kills for the match) and Baker (12), who took feeds from setter Christian Widmer in both the front and back rows. The home team also effectively utilized a float serve that, when working at its best, moves much like a knuckleball in baseball and is extremely difficult to handle.

"Their serving was something we haven't seen yet and they used it to jump out on us to get the momentum," Camarillo coach Rob Vandermay said. "And you can't give that up to good teams like San Marcos."

Starting with a mini service run by Taylor Mann (three blocks and aces, four kills) at the beginning of the first set, the Royals used the floater throughout the match to keep Yoshimoto in the back row, where he was still effective - thanks to sets from his younger brother Matt - but not quite as dominant as he was in the beginning.

"The big key for us was when we started getting them on our serves to take them out of their system," Hauschild said. "They couldn't get their big gun the ball where they wanted to, and that made it easier for us to run our offense."

On numerous occasions, Widmer found either Johnson or Hauschild at the net or in the back row to put the ball away during five-point runs in both the second and third sets to extend the lead in each.

"They have a really quick offense that just jumped out on us," Vandermay said.

email: sports@newspress.com


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