It didn’t take long for the Dos Pueblos High boys volleyball team to post an impressive victory in the new decade.
In fact, the Chargers did it in game number one, as they handed visiting Ventura a 3-0 loss with set scores consisting of 25-14, 25-9, 25-10 Tuesday night at Sovine Gymnasium.
“It feels good,” DP junior Tony Ortiz told the News-Press after the win.
“It only makes me excited to see what more can come this season as we develop as a team and more so individually as players.”
Ortiz was one of the more impressive players on the court Tuesday night, as he totaled six kills, two blocks and registered a game-high eight aces.
In the first set, with the Chargers leading 8-7, Ortiz went back to the service line to begin his run. He hit back-to-back service aces to extend DP’s lead to 10-7 and force a timeout from the Ventura sideline.
Out of the timeout, the Cougars still had no answer for his strong serve, as Ortiz registered another three consecutive aces to give the Chargers a commanding 13-7 lead in the first set.
DP would end the set on a 12-7 run to take the first game with ease.
In the second set, DP won the opening point, again sending Ortiz back to the service line, where the junior outside hitter/middle blocker ran off another three services aces to give his team a 5-0 lead.
“It always feels good to help out the team, especially when you know you did your best and it shows,” Ortiz said of his performance.
While Ortiz was solid on the service line, senior middle blocker Baylor Huyck dominated the middle of the court.
Huyck, entering his second season of varsity volleyball, showcased his athletic ability to go high by earning team-highs in both kills (seven) and blocks (three).
“I thought he did a great job in the middle. I thought he got up super often and I thought he was super locked in and attacking wise, he was up often. Every time he got a swing on that ball it went at a crazy angle so I’m super happy him,” Chargers coach Ehren Hug said.
“It’s only his second year playing volleyball but he’s made a ton of improvement, leaps and bounds and he did great tonight and having that big body in the middle is going to do us a lot of good this season.”
Three of Huyck’s kills came in the second set, which saw the Chargers lead by as many as 12 points at 19-7.
In the third set, DP continued to dominate. Leading 6-5, the Chargers used an 8-1 run to take a commanding 14-6 lead in the third frame.
From there, the Chargers would ride out to an easy three-set win in their first game of the season.
“It was a good effort all around. I thought defensively, we were touching almost everything that came over and even if we didn’t we gave a good effort,” Hug said.
Ventura’s Nate Johnston totaled a team-high seven kills in the loss.
DP’s Finn Hastings contributed five kills in the season opener. With Hastings being a sophomore now, Hug said he hopes to see the outside hitter play with more confidence.
“He played a ton last year and that should have gotten all that nervousness out of his system. He’s shown a lot more power in the front row and he is a calming prescence and he looked great,” Hug said.
DP finished third in the Channel League last season and lost in the first round of the CIF-SS Div. 2 playoffs.
This season, Hug hopes to see a little more success thanks to the talent returning.
“Last year we, we had a lot of first-year varsity players and a lot of them returned so I like to keep building on that experience and just keep moving forward,” Hug said.
For Ortiz, he too hopes for success but also has another goal in mind for this season.
“I mean really, I just hope to beat Santa Barbara. That’s all I’m hoping for,” Ortiz said.
“But other than that, I just want to have a good season, have a good record and just have fun with my team.”
DP will host Valencia on Thursday at 6 p.m.