The Orcutt Academy volleyball team faced a tough test from the Dunn School Earwigs Thursday night at Orcutt Junior High’s Harold E. Black Sports Pavilion.

Despite early challenges in the first two sets, the Spartans (3-7) were able to pull away for a 3-0 sweep in the non-league match against the visitors from Los Olivos (0-3).

Orcutt Academy’s Kaden Bennett led the Spartans’ offense with 12 kills in their 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 victory.

“I thought it was the best game we’ve played all season,” said Bennett. “We played with much more energy tonight.”

Orcutt Academy's Kaden Bennett goes up for one of his 12 kills during Thursday night's boys volleyball match against the Dunn School at Orcutt…

“Our team is really coming together, they’ve been getting consistently better over the last couple of weeks,” said Orcutt Academy coach Rory Haueter. “The guys really know what they are doing and they’re getting the job done.”

“Orcutt Academy played a very consistent game tonight,” said Dunn coach Laura Marcus. “Our guys have been working hard this season. We’ve just come off a school break and haven’t played many matches or had the chance for a lot of practice but my players are working hard to get better, they are improving every day.”

The Spartans had a height advantage and Kyle Zafiris and Bennett used it to make early statements, scoring the Spartans’ first two points on powerful kill shots.

But the Earwigs battled gamely.

The Dnn School's Cade Schaffer goes up for a kill shot during Thursday night's boys volleyball match against Orcutt Academy at Orcutt Junior High.

Leading 10-9, the Spartans took control off the set, scoring six straight points in a run that featured a Dylan Zafiris ace, and kills from Bennett and Kyle Zafiris for a 16-9 lead.

The Spartans maintained that lead when, at 21-14, they ran off four straight points with Bennett’s kill closing out the set.

“As a hitter, I started to see a lot of open spots in the Dunn defense and I tried to hit them,” said Bennett. “And our defense began to recognize when they were going to try a kill shot or just try to tip it over the net and we adjusted well to that.”

The Orcutt Academy team celebrates its victory in Thursday night's boys volleyball match against the Dunn School at Orcutt Junior High.

The second set played out in similar fashion until the Spartans, leading 10-8, scored six of the next seven points to seize control.

Orcutt Academy pulled away with and three-point run followed by a four-point run.

At 24-16, Bennett tried to close the set out with a kill shot but Dunn saved the ball and returned it do the Spartans’ Eston Williams on the backline. Williams returned the ball deep, it fell in for set point just inside the end line.

Two quick Bennett kills two early Luke Clark aces powered a 7-0 run to begin the third set.

Another four-point run made it 11-1 Spartans and later another Bennett kill upped their lead to 15-2.

Dunn kept fighting, eventually cutting Orcutt Academy’s lead to 16-8, but the Earwigs were too far behind.

The Spartans scored the sets final four points to put the match in the win column.

Orcutt Academy's Luke Clark gets set for a kill during Thursday night's boys volleyball match against the Dunn School at Orcutt Junior High.

Dunn is off until Wednesday, March 20, when it will host Arroyo Grande’s Coastal Christian.

Orcutt Academy is right back in action Friday with a match at Santa Barbara’s Laguna Blanca. 

Orcutt Academy's Kaden Bennett goes up for one of his 12 kills during Thursday night's boys volleyball match against the Dunn School at Orcutt…

Santa Ynez 3, Cabrillo 0

The Santa Ynez boys volleyball team has now collected five victories in its last six matches – all under new head coach Craig Scott.

This time, the Pirates ended up taking the three-game sweep over Cabrillo by set scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 27-25 on Thursday night inside the SYHS gym.

Santa Ynez came in red hot following a 4-0 record at the Pioneer Valley Battle of the Coast Tournament. Plus the Pirates were aiming to redeem itself after falling to Dos Pueblos on Tuesday night.  

But the home contest saw a Cabrillo team that wouldn’t go away, plus earned most of its points off of Pirate players mistiming their jumps on blocking opportunities.

Scott, who took over for longtime head coach and multiple CIF Southern Section championship winner Chip Fenenga, pointed that flaw out following the sweep of the Conquistadores.

“We didn’t have many blocks tonight. And that’s what I was disappointed about, we weren’t blocking as well as we should have been blocking,” Scott said.

Boys Golf

Morro Bay 242, Orcutt Academy 272

It was déjà vu for the Orcutt Academy Spartans’ boys golf team which shot its second straight 272 against the Morro Bay Pirates in their second Ocean League match of the season.

On Monday, the Pirates (0-2) dropped their Ocean League and season-opener at the Morro Bay Golf Course 227-262.

“We shot the same score on Monday – if nothing else, we’re consistent,” said Orcutt Academy coach Jim McManus. “There were really tough conditions out there today, a lot of standing water on the course.”

On Thursday at Rancho Maria, the Spartans’ home course, they lost to the Pirates again despite the Spartans’ Robbie Burch, last year’s Los Padres League champion, earning medalist honors after shooting a 40 in the 9-hole match.

Following Burch for the Spartans were Micha Rauscher (56), Jose Barcelo (57), Dalton Allen (57) and Eli Stephenson (62).

“We’re a young team and I’m pleased with where we. With all the rain, it’s been really hard to practice,” said McManus. “I guarantee, we’re going to have some wins this year.”

The Pirates’ Mac Dougherty was low man for Morro Bay with a 43.

Orcutt Academy is back on the course on Monday against Pioneer Valley at Blacklake.

Swimming

Santa Barbara boys 88, Santa Ynez 82

Santa Barbara girls 119, Santa Ynez 50

The Santa Barbara Dons swept their Channel league meet against the Santa Ynez Pirates at the San Marcos Aquatic Center.

Santa Ynez’s boys 200 meter medley relay team came in first in 2:10.36 with Jacob Thielst, Jaeger Purdom, Keller Haws and Guys Smith III swimming.

Other boys winners were Henry Allen in the 200 yard freestyle (1:56.55), Max Pecile in the 200 yard individual medley (2:12.78), Haws in the 50 free (23.75) with teammate Jake Healy second (24.29), Haws in the 100 butterfly (58.28), Liam Hanson in the 100 free (52.65), the 200 free relay team of Allen, Healy, Pecile and Smith (1:34.97), Hanson in the 100 backstroke (59.14) and the 400 freestyle relay team of Allen, Jace Grieco, Pecile and Haws (3:36.23).

For the girls, Annie Ackert won the 50 free in 26.87-seconds, Tessa Haws the 100 back (1:08.67) and Jayde Maniscalco the 100 breaststroke (1:21.85).

The Pirates came in second in the 200 medley relay (2:10.36) behind Jessica Burt, Allison Alderete, Ananda Main and Taye Luke.

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