In an epic battle between two great volleyball teams, the San Marcos High School Royals bested the Santa Barbara Dons on Tuesday night in what could be described as an epic match for the ages between the cross-town rival high schools.

In front of a packed house at the Thunderhut, the Royals came from behind in the season finale after losing game one, only to beat the Dons in three straight games to take the match 3-1.

Recovering starting player and senior Johnny Manzo, No. 1 (still in a knee brace from recent surgery), opened the match with the first serve, and teammate and senior setter Neil Holliday, No. 2, dunked the last point of the match to set the entire gym into a celebration frenzy.

“This was our best match ever against Santa Barbara, and although I could not be out there playing more, I got to open the match with the first serve and it was very special that my four-year partner and setter Neil got to end the match with an amazing slam dunk,” Manzo said. “We definitely gave the Dons the ole one-two punch tonight. Every member of our team played outstanding volleyball tonight, and this is a fantastic win for San Marcos.”

— Michael Holliday is a San Marcos High parent.