Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 11:48 am | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank
Girls Volleyball

Dos Pueblos Rises Up, Beats San Marcos in Five Sets

Freshman, sophomore middles play huge role for Chargers in Channel League opener

Danica Minnich of Dos Pueblos tips over the San Marcos block of Jenna MacFarlane (12) and Kristine Fimlaid during Tuesday’s Channel League opener. Click to view larger
Danica Minnich of Dos Pueblos tips over the San Marcos block of Jenna MacFarlane (12) and Kristine Fimlaid during Tuesday’s Channel League opener. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Dos Pueblos and San Marcos opened Channel League girls volleyball play with a five-set thriller, and the host Chargers beat their crosstown rivals for the first time since 2014 on Tuesday night.

DP’s middle attackers Ally Mintzer and Danielle LaGrange combined for 30 kills, with Mintzer putting away the final two points in a 25-23, 19-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8 victory at Sovine Gym.

LaGrange, a 6-3 freshman, and Mintzer, a 6-1 sophomore, were too much to handle for the Royals. The young Chargers gained confidence as the match wore on, and setters Jackie Holmes, Grace Crozier and Mikayla Butzke utilized them to their advantage.

DP freshman Danielle LaGrange hits over San Marcos blockers Leila Parker, right, and Molly Kirkbride. LaGrange had 14 kills in her first crosstown match. Click to view larger
DP freshman Danielle LaGrange hits over San Marcos blockers Leila Parker, right, and Molly Kirkbride. LaGrange had 14 kills in her first crosstown match. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

“Maybe by the second or third game,” Mintzer said of when she broke out and played without nerves. “At first I was nervous because of the crowd, but then I got comfortable and started doing things.”

 LaGrange said she got the fever after her first kill, a crushed ball that tied the score at 15-all in the first set.

“That first hit I knew this is going to big game for me,” she said. “It’s usually within the first two points that I know how I’m going to do.”

DP coach Dillan Bennett said his young middles "are very dynamic and can move pretty well, especially for being so young."

Mintzer praised the setters. “They’re awesome, Jackie, Mikayla and Grace are the best,” she said.

Holmes said she realized by the third set that the middles were having their way at the net.

Lauren Buie dives for a dig as DP teammates Ally Mintzer, left, and Grace Crozier look on. Click to view larger
Lauren Buie dives for a dig as DP teammates Ally Mintzer, left, and Grace Crozier look on. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

“I saw that was the main spot that really worked, so I needed to execute it more to get points and get ahead,” she said. “It was the third game I said I need to set the middle more.”

Butzke followed suit in the fourth and fifth sets.

Danica Minnich was a workhorse for DP, putting away 16 kills and recording a whopping 37 digs. Lauren Buie had 10 kills and 29 digs.

"Holy-moly, tonight she hit probably the best of her career," Bennett said of Minnich, a former middle attacker. "She did a great job keeping sets that weren't in her window in the court and on the right person."

San Marcos got a strong match from outside hitter Jenna MacFarlane. She led all hitters with 20 kills and had 12 digs. Leila Parker contributed 9 kills on the outside and Ady Colburn posted 8 kills and 16 digs. Libero Delaney Warner was all over the court for the Royals and picked up 17 digs.

The match feature several long rallies.

San Marcos co-coach Tina Brown was happy with her team’s defense, led by Werner, and the aggressive play of MacFarlane at the net and in the back row. The difference, she said, “was the middle, our middles versus their middles. I just don’t think our middles stepped up as they should of tonight against two very tall girls. We knew what (the Chargers) were going to bring against us. They weren’t bombing balls by any means. We just didn’t make the necessary adjustments.”

The Royals rallied from a 12-8 deficit in the fourth set and pulled to within one, 15-13. But Dos Pueblos responded with a big hit in the middle by LaGrange and scored the next two points on San Marcos mistakes. Butzke then served an ace for a 20-15 advantage.

San Marcos cut it to 23-21 before Dos Pueblos scored the final two points on a  Buie tip and a Royals hitting error after a tough serve by Holmes.

In the 15-point fifth set, the Chargers roared out to a 7-3 lead behind two kills from Mintzer, a stuff by LaGrange and a couple of kills from Minnich. They outscored San Marcos 5-1 down the stretch, with Mintzer scoring the final two points off assists from Holmes.

“As far as experience goes, San Marcos crushed us and they showed us that in the first three games,” Bennett said. “That’s a very experienced team and our young girls have never seen this atmosphere and have never played in a game of this magnitude. I was so proud to see our freshmen and sophomores playing up with upper classmen and really shining. It was great.”

The last time Dos Pueblos beat San Marcos was in October of 2014 in a five-set match.

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >