Dos Pueblos’ boys’ volleyball team lit up Sovine Gym on Thursday night en route to a 3-1 win over San Marcos. Seniors Ryan Beall and Ben Johnson led the Chargers with 11 kills apiece as Dos Pueblos settled down after a game one loss to win the match in dominant fashion, 24-26, 25-12, 25-14 and 25-16.

The story of the night was the Chargers’ defensive alacrity, led by libero Derek Martinez (18 digs). Dos Pueblos dug and passed San Marcos’ attack with effectiveness, using a deep and active lineup to stifle the Royals’ hitters, despite 21 kills from Royals junior Andrew Grimes.

The cross-town rivalry began strong and fast. Grimes was hot out of the gates with six-straight kills in game one to push the San Marcos lead to 16-13. Following a Dos Pueblos timeout, the Chargers gained momentum, capping a 4-0 run with Beall’s huge kill down the line to tie the game at 17. The Royals pushed back, winning 26-24 on an Eric Holladay service ace.

The tone changed after game one. Dos Pueblos rode powerful middle hitting and a varied outside attack to pepper the court with kills and force errors by the Royals for the following three games. In a sport known for the power of momentum, the Chargers capitalized on several three- and four-point runs to build leads. Game three saw Dos Pueblos generate a 14-1 run to break open a 22-10 lead, before winning the game, 25-14. In game four, the Chargers built a 10-4 lead and never looked back.

Dos Pueblos improved to 13-5 with the win, while San Marcos fell to 4-4. Both San Marcos and Dos Pueblos return to Channel League play in two weeks when they face Santa Barbara, April 8 and April 10, respectively.

In JV action Thursday, Dos Pueblos beat San Marcos in straight games, 25-12, 25-14.

Seamus McKiernan coaches junior varsity volleyball at San Marcos High.