San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Mason Rice and Jack Wilson are too much to handle, San Marcos Storms past Santa Barbara to win their first outright title since 2014.

Last night, April 16, the San Marcos Boys Volleyball team faced Santa Barbara in what would go on to be an epic matchup. Both teams entered the game tied in their standings, each boasting an 8-1 record, which at the time was tied for first place.

After some initial back-and-forth play in the first set, Senior Mason Rice broke a 17-17 tie, and the Royals rode it through to win the first set 25-20. Rice was dominant throughout the game, recording 27 kills. Also carrying the offensive load, senior Jack Wilson recorded 21 kills. The two combined for 48 out of 106 of the Royals total points, not taking their numerous blocks against Santa Barbara into account.

Santa Barbara fought back, as in the second set they were able to scrape out a 25-23 win.

After yet another scrappy set, with both teams going back-and-forth until the end, the San Marcos Royals entered the 4th set, up 2-1, needing just 25 more points to be crowned the Channel League Champs. This set would go down as the most intense and back-and-forth set thus far in the game, and both teams had multiple chances at winning. After battling back from a 20-15 deficit, and staying in the game despite Santa Barbara reaching set point twice (24-23 and 25-24), the Royals took a lead, their first since early in the set. More back-and-forth action continued, with the Royals beginning to rely heavily on their two senior hitters as well as setter Cameron Earls. Eventually, the Royals found themselves up, 32-31 late in the game. That is when Wilson, who was their guy all night, scored the game winning point on a tip off of an overpass. 

Setter junior Ayden Welch was ecstatic about the win. “Other than the second set, we did a great job of closing in the three other sets that we won, especially Mason [Rice], he did a good job of playing smart,” Welch said, who has also been a key part to the success of the team this year.

San Marcos, now sitting at 28-2, as well as League Champs, will likely receive a top-four seed and home court advantage for their opening game in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs this next week.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Callanan
Benjamin Callanan, Staff Writer
Benjamin, or Ben Callanan is an 11th grader at San Marcos Senior High School. He joined the King’s Page as a staff writer in January 2024. He is also a member of both the varsity track and cross country teams. In school, his favorite school subject is math. Outside of school, he goes for runs, hangs out with his friends, and walks his dog.
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