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Tesoro boys volleyball pulls out win over Santa Margarita in Division 2 playoffs

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA >> The Tesoro boys volleyball team outlasted crosstown rival Santa Margarita in five sets Saturday to advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals.

Tesoro (16-7) beat the Eagles 24-26, 26-16, 25-27, 25-18, 15-11 at Santa Margarita High and will host Burroughs of Burbank in the next round Wednesday. The Titans lost to Santa Margarita previously this season in the Tesoro tournament.

“We knew they were going to play defense and serve shots the way they do, but tonight we had an answer,” Tesoro coach Pat Eaton said. “We gave away too many points the first time we played them and they overwhelmed us. That match was a couple of points away and this one was too but it happened to swing our way.”

Tesoro outside hitter Kaumana Carreira, who is 6-foot-8, and Nathan Draper were getting clean shots throughout the match and also served well. Eaton credited the passing from setter Jace Fukushima with the offense’s success.

“Jace put them in great spots setting-wise and got them a lot of one-on-one situations and the way we passed allowed those guys to get freed up,” Eaton said. “If we are going to win we need our big dogs to eat and tonight they did.”

Tesoro led by as many as six points in the first set but Santa Margarita (17-10) battled back and won after back-to-back aces by Eric Liu.

In the second set, Santa Margarita senior Austin McCarty briefly left the game after being struck by a ball in the head. The athletic trainer cleared him to compete but the head official deemed his return unsafe which was a big blow to the Eagles.

The Titans dominated the set after McCarty’s departure. Dylan Patton served well for Tesoro in the second and third sets, putting pressure on the Eagles’ defense.

The third set was another set that was back-and-forth until sophomore Ethan Saint got the set-winning kill to put the Eagles ahead two sets to one.

Tesoro was excellent at passing and blocking in the fourth and fifth sets. Cal State Northridge signee Emmanuel Wandji had a block and kill on consecutive points in the fifth set to propel Tesoro to the win.

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