HomeSportsBoys’ Volleyball: Spartans Fall to San Marino in League Opener

Boys’ Volleyball: Spartans Fall to San Marino in League Opener

It was time to get down to business in the Rio Hondo League as San Marino boys’ volleyball hosted La Cañada in the league opener for both schools on March 12.
After splitting the first two games, the host Titans won the final two to secure a 25-20, 17-25, 25-27, 25-21 win over the Spartans.
“That was such a great match,” La Cañada coach Laura Browder said. “Props to San Marino. They did a great job of running their middle and, obviously, their explosive right side, as well as their outsides. They are a very balanced team. It was fun to compete against them.”
La Cañada was paced by Quest Swan with 15 kills and joined in double digits by Zach Evans with 10. Jacob Que had eight, while Jared Yang, Riley Vencatachellum and Parker Petroc had three, two and one kills, respectively.
San Marino was led on the offense by junior Casey Chan, attacking mainly from the right side to finish with 14 kills.
“La Cañada is normally a scary opponent, and us putting them at 3-1 puts us in a good spot against other teams,” Chan said. “We hit really well today.”
San Marino’s Ryan Wang had 10 kills, while middle Luca Moggio tallied six. Fellow Titans middle Jeffery Li had five kills, while setter Jared Wang and Hunter Piccinni had three apiece.
The hosts never trailed in game one, although the Titan lead never got larger than the final margin of five points. After a kill from the outside by Chan made it 23-19, the teams exchanged service errors to bring up game point. Jared Wang then claimed the opening game for the Titans when he faked a set, instead sending the ball over the net to the deep part of the floor on the Spartan side for the game-winner.
It was a different story in game two, in which the visitors never trailed after opening with an 8-1 run that included a pair of aces by Albert Cho. San Marino pulled within three as late as 19-16, but La Cañada responded with three straight kills, two by Swan sandwiched around one by Que. Soon after, an ace by Yang brought up game point. A kill from the outside off the Spartan block by Chan prolonged the game, but Swan finished it off with a kill from the outside to take game two by eight points.
The Titans got things back on track in game three, which they never trailed. The Spartans stayed in contact and trailed by just three in the latter stages before San Marino finished on a 7-2 run. It started with consecutive kills in the middle by Li, followed by an outside kill by Ryan Wang. After a Titan service error, Ryan Wang registered two more kills from the outside. A Spartan hit went long to make it 24-17. Swan fought off the first game point with a kill from the outside off the Titan block, but Ryan Wang claimed the game for the hosts with a kill from the middle.
The Spartans led briefly near the start of game four before the Titans pulled ahead, for what turned out to be for good. An outside kill by Chan that made it 5-4, and the Titans’ advantage peaked at nine points when a block in the middle by Li made it 18-9. La Cañada did not go away after that, and three times down the stretch they pulled to within three. The first was at 21-18, after which Chan had a strong kill and then a touch kill from the outside. The next two points went to the Spartans, making it 23-20, but Moggio made a kill in the middle to bring up game point. Petroc kept the match alive with a kill from the outside, but Chan finished off the San Marino victory with a kill from the outside on the next point.
“I think it is going to be a fun one,” said Browder of the Rio Hondo League season. “I was talking to some of the other coaches. This year we feel like we are all kind of even, and I think that every league match is going to be a banger.”

First published in the March 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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