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No. 3 Santa Monica downs No. 10 Vaqueros 3-1

Jackson McDonough had five kills, six digs and four blocks on Wednesday night. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Jackson McDonough had five kills, six digs and four blocks on Wednesday night. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

SBCC rallied from a 23-21 deficit to take the second set on Wednesday night but couldn't maintain that momentum in a 3-1 men's volleyball loss to No. 3 Santa Monica at the Sports Pavilion. The scores were 25-20, 25-27, 25-14, 25-19.

The Corsairs (9-1) won for the sixth straight time while the 10th-ranked Vaqueros (3-7) fell to 1-5 at home. Santa Barbara has lost six of its last seven with all six defeats coming to teams ranked No. 7 in the state or higher.

Sean Reynaert led the Vaqueros with 10 kills and three blocks. Stephen Trevitt added eight kills and seven digs. Jackson McDonough added five kills, six digs and four blocks. Jarrett Futch had four kills and seven blocks, including three solo.

Max Ball topped the Corsairs with 15 kills and a .462 hitting percentage. Cameron Capili added 12 kills for Santa Monica, which outhit the Vaqueros .282 to .044.

SBCC played well in the first two sets, then fell behind 12-5 and 19-12 in the third. The Vaqueros got within a point at 17-16 in the fourth set on an ace serve by Kealakahi Spain and a lift on the Corsairs. Then 6-foot-7 Vecas Lewin pounded a kill and Hunter Douglas delivered an ace, igniting a 7-0 run that gave the visitors a 24-16 advantage.

"That's been our M.O. this year, we focus for so long and we battle and then at a certain point, it just stops," said coach Jon Newton. "We play well in the first two sets, then we have a little drop-off. It comes down to focus and being able to do the skills and the fundamentals. Once we lose focus, we seem to get out of the match.

"We have to figure out how to be more consistent throughout the match and not just have one or two strong sets."

SBCC has two more nonconference matches – Friday at home vs. No. 1 Irvine Valley at 6 p.m. and next Wednesday at Santa Monica. The six matches in the WSC North will count toward determining the playoff teams as well as four WSC crossover matches vs. Santa Monica (next Wed.), Long Beach, El Camino and L.A. Trade Tech.

Eight teams will qualify for the State playoffs this year.

"It looks like we're going to have to win our conference (which includes L.A. Pierce, Moorpark and Antelope Valley) to make the playoffs," said Newton.