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Boys Volleyball

Dax Galvan, Max Raphael Provide Spark in Dos Pueblos Win at San Marcos

Parker Crossland (17) of Dos Pueblos blocks San Marcos outside hitter Ryder Rivadeneyra as Jimmy Kraemer (10) of the Chargers stretches to assist. Click to view larger
Parker Crossland (17) of Dos Pueblos blocks San Marcos outside hitter Ryder Rivadeneyra as Jimmy Kraemer (10) of the Chargers stretches to assist. (Gary Kim photo)

Max and Dax stepped up and made clutch plays for the Dos Pueblos boys volleyball team, sparking it to a tight four-set victory over San Marcos in a Channel League crosstown match on Tuesday night at Maury Halleck Gym.

The Chargers won 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23 to improve their unbeaten record to 11-0, 2-0 in the Channel League. San Marcos is 6-4, 0-1.

Max Raphael of Dos Pueblos his past a San Marcos blocker during Channel League match on Tuesday. Raphael had six kills. Click to view larger
Max Raphael of Dos Pueblos his past a San Marcos blocker during Channel League match on Tuesday. Raphael had six kills. (Gary Kim photo)

With San Marcos gearing its defense to contain DP’s primary weapon, outside hitter Curren Malhotra, Max Raphael and Dax Galvan often found themselves in one-on-one situations on their attacks. They also came up with clutch blocks.

"(San Marcos) had some pretty scrappy defense in the back row, but (setter) Parker (Crossland) started moving it around and using Max and Dax," DP coach Ehren Hug said. "Those two seemed to be really connecting. It’s nice to see. If one guy is struggling, we’ve got a couple more swords in the arsenal. It’s always nice."

San Marcos coach Kyle Benskin said his game plan was to wear down Malhotra. 

"He is one heck of a player," Benskin said. "Our game plan was to go after him and wear him down throughout the game as much as we could. Tanner (Stevens) did a great job of reading and being in the right spot."

Hug was impressed with the defensive play of Stevens, the San Marcos setter.

"My hat’s off to Tanner on the other side, he played great defense in the back row. Every time I thought Curren was going to put a ball down, Tanner stepped in and took it," said Hug.

Galvan and Raphael took charge for DP.

Galvan delivered the winning kill in the first set. In the third set, he blasted a ball down the line that ignited a DP comeback.

Raphael combined with Owen Katz on a block to give the Chargers a 23-22 lead. San Marcos tipped a ball out of bounds for the 24th point and Malhotra put away the winning point after the Royals stumbled on a middle attack and failed to convert.

Galvan scored four straight points and Raphael had a solo block and a kill to help the Chargers open up a 17-12 lead in the fourth set."

"Those guys were giving us a little bit of difficulty. They found the gaps in our block," Benskin said.  "I thought overall we did a OK job against DP."

San Marcos battled back behind the hitting of Parker Bittner in the middle and the outside attacks of Clay Nerdin. Two straight kills from Bittner pulled the Royals to 23-22 in the fourth set.

Malhotra buried a ball to make it match point for DP, but Stevens combined with Bittner again for a sideout to keep the Royals alive. 

DP scored the final point when San Marcos served the next ball into the net.

Despite getting dug several times, Malhotra still led the way for Dos Pueblos with 18 kills. He had eight of them in the third set. Galvan had 14 kills, Raphael chipped in six and middle Jimmy Kraemer added five.

Libero Daniel Willett and Crossland led the defense with 11 digs apiece.

San Marcos had a balanced attack with Nerdin putting away 14 kills, Ryder Rivadeneyra 13 and Bittner 10. Stevens played a terrific game on defense, picking up 12 digs to go with 44 assists. LIbero Andrew Gillen led the Royals with 14 digs.

The play of Stevens lifted the Royals in the second set. He dug Malhotra and did a nice job mixing up his sets. He made a beautiful bump set across the court that Nerdin put away during a 5-0 run that gave San Marcos a 16-12 lead. 

Stevens fed Fred Ysebrands and Nerdin on the outside and went to Bittner on a quick set in the middle to close out the second-set win for the Royals.

They couldn't repeat that performance during crunch time in the next two sets.

"Down the stretch it came down to DP staying aggressive and staying to their game plan," Benskin said. "We made a few mistakes, our energy flattened out a bit and by the time we tried to bring our energy back up, DP had already capitalized."

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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