Ally Mintzer was a force in the middle for Dos Pueblos, racking up 25 kills and five blocks in a 3-1 girls volleyball win at Newbury Park on Thursday night. The scores were 22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16.

“I have to get serious props to Ally Mintzer who was just unstoppable in the middle for us,” DP coach Megan O’Carroll said. “She was in overdrive tonight, transitioning hard every time to earn us points or help pull a blocker to give our pins one on one situations.”

Setter Mikayla Butzke spread the ball around to keep Newbury Park’s defense off balance. Portia Sherman had seven kills, Becky McKinny and Kaylee Curtis contributed six apiece and Olivia Andrews had five.

“Mikayla Butzke did an outstanding job for us tonight. Our serve receive wasn’t our strongest but she was hustling all over the court to make our offense happen. She’s just a workhorse,” said O’Carroll.

The Chargers served tough, recording eight aces, led by Sherman’s five.

The coach had high praise for  libero Alison Minnich.

“She’s the steadiest part of our team,” O’Carroll said. “When things are clicking and she’s on (and she’s rarely ever off), we have so much success. She’s able to take up so much of the court and gets up some seemingly impossible balls because she’s a total gamer and can read the ball better than any libero I’ve seen this season. I am so thankful she’s on our side of the court.”

O’Carroll added that team defense made the difference. 

“We’ve been working really hard this week on improving our defense by being on our toes and ready to move to help fill in the gaps in our defense,” she explained. “Newbury was the perfect team for us to play tonight because they are highly intelligent and athletic and can hit a variety of shots. I’m so glad we were able to put our hard work to the test tonight. I’m really proud of the progress we have made so far but we know there is a lot more work for us to do.”

The Chargers (2-2) return to the court on Friday at the Santa Barbara High Tournament of Champions. They open against Presentation High of San Jose at 12:45 p.m.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

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