Alex Rottman
Alex Rottman of Santa Barbara reaches High to hit over San Marcos blockers during the Dons’ sweep of the Channel League match. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara High used bombing jump serves and the blistering hits of Sam Meister and Alex Rottman to sweep San Marcos in the first crosstown boys volleyball match in more than year Wednesday night at J.R. Richards Gym.

The scores were 25-16, 25-16, 25-20.

The Dons’ powerful serving took the Royals out of system several times and set up overpasses that were pounded or blocked for points. Rottman had four aces and Meister added a pair.

“Give (assistant coach) Jon Roberts credit for getting our guys to pick up the pace on our serves,” said Dons head coach Chad Arneson. “That’ll keep a lot of teams out of system, so we got to go for it. If they miss some, they miss some. That’s kind of the way you got to play. You got to be aggressive.”

The Royals (1-2) didn’t see that kind of power serving in their first two matches. 

“Our scrimmages and practices in our gym we’re seeing it, but we haven’t seen it in a match yet,” said coach Roger Kuntz. “We were giving them a lot of stuff on overpasses and things where they just blistered it. They’re like hounds, they’ll take that out.”

The outside-hitting duo of Meister and Rottman crushed Peter Tebbe sets from all over the court and finished with 21 and 14 kills, respectively. The UCSB-bound Meister set the tone for the Dons on the first kill of the night, a straight-down, court-denting blast down the line from the left side.

Sam Meister

Sam Meister of the Dons hits against San Marcos blockers Cade McLean (10) and Josh Willbanks. Meister had 21 kills in the match. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

Rottman also put some dents in the floor with some hard-angle and down-the-line bombs.

One of the best plays of night was pulled off by Tebbe and right-side hitter Dylan Foreman. On a long rally, Tebbe fooled the San Marcos blockers with back set to Foreman, who slammed the ball down the line for an 11-6 lead in the second set.

Tebbe, who also fed Andrew Douglas and Isaiah Gil for kills, had 42 assists on the night.

“Peter did a good job running our offense,” said Arneson. “He had a couple of great one-on-one opportunities for Dylan to crush the ball. You’ve got to be pretty happy to be setting this kind of group, to have those kind of hitters.”

Princeton-bound libero Matt Suh led the Santa Barbara defense with 18 digs.

The CIF-SS Divison 1 ninth-ranked Dons (2-0) never trailed in the first or second sets.

San Marcos raised its game in the third set and gave Santa Barbara a battle. Josh Willbanks came on strong, putting away three kills and blocking for a point in the set. 

“Clearly, Santa Barbara is a very good team and we know that. They got three big hammers and they’re very seasoned, said Kuntz. “We’re a very good volleyball team. I loved what I saw from our guys tonight. I love the passion we played with and the heart. That’s what I wanted to see when we came into this gym.”

The Royals tied the score at 11 on a Willbanks kill. But Santa Barbara took charge again, going on a 7-2 run. Willbanks led San Marcos with six kills

The Dons pulled away down the stretch on a dump by Tebbe, a kill off the block by Rottman and a pair of kills by Meister.

“I like our balance,” said Arneson of his team’s attack. “Our balance is much better. If you scout us, you can’t camp on one or two players. You have to honor all our players.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.