The San Marcos boys beach volleyball team advanced to the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball Southern Pacific finals against Mira Costa and was beaten by the top-seeded Mustangs at the Hermosa Beach Pier courts.
Mira Costa swept the three individual matches in straight sets to repeat as champion.
The Royals defeated Santa Barbara High, 2-1, in an epic semifinal battle. Each of the three individual best-of-three-sets matches went the distance. The Dons won the first match 21-12, 18-21, 16-14. San Marcos took the second match, 14-21, 21-16, 15-4, and the third, 13-21, 21-18, 15-9.
“I’m really proud to see our San Marcos boys advance further in these SoCal playoffs than any team from Santa Barbara has ever done, and beating rival Santa Barbara was a great feeling leading into the finals,” said San Marcos coach Toby Still.
The Royals’ three teams at Hermosa Beach were Luke Walker/Hansen Streeter, Zach Wilbanks/Colin Earls and Cliff Ficker/Jack Garcia.
San Marcos swept Redondo Union, 3-0, in the quarterfinals while Santa Barbara knocked off Loyola in three straight.
“I give a lot of credit to San Marcos, they played better team ball in the semifinals and they were able to win two out of the three matches to advance to the finals against Mira Costa,” said Santa Barbara coach Chad Arneson. “It was a great atmosphere and the boys should by proud of what they accomplished.”
Santa Barbara competed with the teams of Ford Harman/Andreas Schuetz, Blake Ekeler/Mason Rice and Ryan Slater/Will Harman.
Dos Pueblos was beaten by Loyola in the quarterfinals.
San Marcos won the Channel League championship, with Santa Barbara taking second and Dos Pueblos third.
“Our boys program was successful because of the amount of depth we had within it,” said Still. “I could have brought a number of alternate players and still perform very well. Not to diminish today’s players, they played and hustled the hardest, which served our teams well to earn a spot among the top beach volleyball teams in Southern California.”
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.