San Marcos High, toughened by last week’s 3-1 boys volleyball loss to rival Santa Barbara, looked tournament-ready for Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoff opener.
Hansen Streeter got the Royals rolling on easy street by setting a smooth 25-14, 25-19, 25-15 sweep over Hart at the Thunderhut.
“Hansen had a great night, didn’t he?” San Marcos coach Roger Kuntz said. “I didn’t see a lot of setting errors out of him. I can count one, maybe two at the most, but I thought he ran our offense really well.
“For a sophomore, he’s got a great presence. I think he really grew through the DP and Santa Barbara matches.”
San Marcos (8-2), which suffered its only two losses this year to the top-ranked Dons, will play on the road in Thursday’s second round against the winner of the Alemany at Tesoro match.
Outside hitter Josh Willbanks led the Royals on Tuesday with 11 kills. The Royals also got production from their middles, with Cade McLean pounding six kills and Aiden Pazier adding five.
“Josh is definitely our go-to guy a lot of the time,” Kuntz said. “He’s really been showing up the last few matches.
“Our middles are great, so we’re excited. We’re real balanced right now.”
That balance went deep on Tuesday, with Evan Shinn responding with five kills after getting the call to play outside.
“We had an injury to the younger Willbanks (Zach) — he had a high ankle sprain,” Kuntz said. “Evan is a 6-5 outside for us and he looked pretty good for us tonight.”
San Marcos trailed 7-5 in the first set before Josh Willbanks came alive with a pair of kills during a five-point run. Streeter added a stuff block while Jacob Yinger’s service ace put the Royals ahead, 9-7.
The Royals never trailed in either the second or third sets. Streeter capped the second set with a slick back set to Willbanks.
“What I liked was the decision-making and moving around,” Kuntz said. “I still don’t think we get to the back side enough — we’re a little bit front-side heavy — but I liked his footwork.
“He’s definitely got a real presence and he’s real calm. He’s a super-smart kid.”