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Boys Volleyball

Santa Barbara Volleyball Knocked Out of Playoffs by Westlake in Five Sets

Santa Barbara’s Will Rottman tries to block Westlake’s Troy Magorian during their second-round CIF Division 1 playoff match. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara’s Will Rottman tries to block Westlake’s Troy Magorian during their second-round CIF Division 1 playoff match. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara High couldn’t block Troy Magorian, as the Westlake senior outside hitter went off for a career-high 40 kills to lead the Warriors to a five-set win over the Dons in a CIF-Southern Section Division 1 second-round boys volleyball playoff match on Thursday night at J.R. Richards Gym.

Magorian’s hitting rallied Westlake from a 2-1 deficit in sets to a 25-15, 16-25, 21-25, 25-19, 15-8 victory.

He recorded his 40 kills on 57 swings and made only five errors. He also had nine digs.

“He’s been doing that all year for us, maybe not 40 kills but being the guy when we need him to be the guy,” said retiring coach Doug Magorian of the youngest of his three sons who is headed to Pepperdine. “He showed up again tonight.”

Troy Magorian had nine kills in the fourth set and four in the deciding fifth. 

“The kid is a classy kid; he gets it done,” said Santa Barbara coach Chad Arneson of Troy Magorian. “He’s not an up-and-down kind of guy, he’s pretty even-keeled. He’s a senior, he has lots of experience and he doesn’t let things both him.”

The Dons were riding high after impressive performances in the second and third sets. In the third, they went on a four-point run behind the hitting of Will Rottman, Henry Hancock and Ben Roach to  take a 12-8 lead and expanded it to 22-16 on a deep kill by Hancock followed by an ace serve from the UCSB signee. The sophomore Rottman finished off the set with a kill from the middle and a hard-angle kill from the outside.

Santa Barbara defenders can’t come with a dig of a Westlake spike. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara defenders can’t come with a dig of a Westlake spike. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Rottman pounded 28 kills to lead the Dons, while Hancock had 21 and Roach 11. Junior setter Dane Westwick handed out 57 assists.

“That was an outstanding game Santa Barbara put out there today,” coach Magorian said “They had two guys who really put the ball away, Hancock and Rottman. I thought they did an outstanding job there, and we just had to find an answer, and (Troy) was the answer along with some help from the other guys.”

A key player for the Warriors was libero A.J Faille. He had 19 digs, many of them coming in the fourth and fifth sets. He dug and Hancock hit and Magorian converted it into a kill for a 7-2 lead win the fourth set. 

“They got into a pretty good groove in Game 4 after we went up 2-1,” Arneson said. “They didn’t hang their heads, they got back into a good rhythm and made good plays. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop that No. 15.  He put on a show for them. We obviously didn’t block as well as we should have. We knew who they were going to set, we had a good game plan, but sometimes we can’t do everything”

In the fifth set, a Faille dig followed by a kill from middle Danny Sutton-Farrell got the Warrior off to a 4-2 lead.

“He’s a really experienced libero and he's going to UC Irvine,” coach Magorian said of Faille. “He plays for one of the top clubs. We talked about him staying still. We talked about matching the defense Santa Barbara was playing. For a while, they were playing some outstanding defense back there and it was really frustrating our guys. We have not had that kind of situation where we’ve been dug that many times on that many plays. We have to answer that, we have to play some defense of our own, and (Faille) took it upon himself to do that.”

Outside hitter Devon Johnson got hot for Westlake in the fifth set and scored on a pair of kills and Reagan Cutler got a solo block to give the Warriors a 9-6 advantage.

A kill by Hancock got Santa Barbara as close as 11-8 before Westlake put the match away. Magorian blasted his 40th kill on the 60th assist by setter Blake Crisp, there was a Dons hitting error, Faille served an ace and the Dons committed another hitting error to end a rally and the match.

“Before Game 4, I said. ‘You know what, we played so badly two sets in a row. We win this next game and it’s one game to 15, and it’s anybody’s game and we’re back in it,’” coach Magorian said of what he told his players.

He noted that a tweak in his line-up in Set 5 created mismatches for Troy Magorian at the net. “We got that little setter a couple of times and their small outside. The match-ups ended up working out for us. It wasn’t planned for Set 4 but for Set 5 it definitely was.” 

Arneson told his players they performed well and they shouldn't hang their heads.

“I’m really proud of this group. We’re a team this year. It shows how far we’ve come after losing a lot of guys last year. These guys are a team.”

Santa Barbara ends the season with an 18-8 record. Westlake advances to the quarterfinal with a 28-5-1 mark.

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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