When R’Mond Hill put down the match-winning block that gave Rancho’s boys volleyball team a season sweep of Valley, he knew his team was running on all cylinders.
That’s because the Rams’ middle blocker knows that when his group is working well, the rest of the team runs its assignment like a machine.
Hill had a match-high six blocks to go with six kills to help the Rams to a 25-18, 25-18, 27-29, 25-11 victory to keep ahold of second place in the Northeast League.
“If I don’t block, it makes it harder on the team,” Hill said. “I try to keep the momentum up by blocking, and that keeps the team passing and working like clockwork.”
Rancho overtook Valley in a streaky first game for both teams that saw the Rams (9-5, 8-2 Northeast) use runs of 8-1, 7-1 and 7-3.
Hill then stepped up in the second game, as he and Ciarian Subira combined for five blocks that helped Rancho control the net.
“Whenever we can incorporate the middles, on offense or defense, it’s huge momentum for the team,”
Rancho coach Allegra Derzon said. “These guys are young, but they’re really athletic and they have athletic smarts.
“You tell them something, and they pick it up and apply it. They’re competitive, too. They want to make every play, but not for selfish reasons.”
Kyle Stankosky added 13 digs, four kills and two aces for Rancho, which relied on the senior team captain to control the floor and assist on almost every block.
“All of the guys look to him for advice; he’s like their gauge,” Derzon said of Stankosky, the team’s lone returning varsity player. “And he’s handled that responsibility very well, knowing that the guys look up to him.
“He leads vocally and also by example.”
Guillermo Silva had seven kills, and Nathan Campo supplied 12 assists for Rancho, which also got 11 digs from Matt Brown.
“When we get the blocks, we make their offense hard to run,” Hill said. “They have to dig up the ball, and that’s going to make it hard for the setter to get the sets.”
Ignacio Diaz paced Valley (9-4, 6-4) with 16 kills, nine digs and three aces, including seven kills in the third game when the Vikings rallied twice on game point before earning the win.
Peter Nunes added 24 assists for Valley, and teammate Mauricio Molina had 15 digs. Freshman Matt Ballaro contributed six kills and six digs for the Vikings.
Desert Oasis 3, Clark 1 — At Desert Oasis, Zach Bobenhausen had 13 kills to lead the Diamondbacks to a 26-24, 22-25, 25-22, 26-24 victory over the Chargers.
Trevor Zarvian added 38 assists and seven digs for Desert Oasis, and teammate Danny Eslinger notched 24 digs.
George Huang had 14 kills for Clark, and teammate Johnny Phane added 11 kills.
Clark’s David Samson supplied 29 assists, three kills and two blocks, and teammate Joseph Wang had seven kills and three blocks.
Sierra Vista 3, Western 0 — At Western, Preston Miranda dished out 15 assists and Khrumm Fahim supplied 13 kills as the Mountain Lions swept the Warriors, 25-15, 25-22, 25-19.
Nash McIntosh had 17 assists, and Matthew Lewis and Aaron Buckley each added nine kills for Western.
Bonanza 3, Spring Valley 0 — At Bonanza, Craig Whiting distributed 30 assists, Price Jarman put down nine kills, and Parker Evans added seven kills to lead the Bengals to a sweep of the Grizzlies, 25-20, 25-14, 25-21.
Seth McGinn collected 28 digs for Spring Valley. Dallas Teshima dished out 18 assists, and Blake Ringer tallied seven kills for the Grizzlies.
Bishop Gorman 3, Durango 0 — At Gorman, Cameron Tom dished out 35 assists, and Bobby Houser put down 14 kills as the Gaels swept the Trailblazers, 25-20, 25-21, 25-21.
Bryan Fulmara added nine kills for Gorman.
Caleb Snook led Durango with 17 assists. Paris Estrada added seven kills, and Josh Maury had nine digs and four kills for the Trailblazers.
Canyon Springs 3, Desert Pines 0 — At Desert Pines, Jon Duhaylungsod dished out 19 assists, Adam Tuala had 11 kills, and Eivan Navtarrete collected 14 digs to help the Pioneers sweep the Jaguars, 25-23, 25-12, 25-18.
Tony Savea supplied 13 assists, Tui Poutasi put down eight kills, and Mike Gipson contributed five digs to lead Desert Pines.
Las Vegas 3, Eldorado 0 — At Eldorado, Garrett Jones had 10 digs and six kills to help lead the Wildcats to a sweep of the Sundevils, 25-8, 25-16, 25-15.
Luke Hansen supplied 16 assists and five kills, and Ronnie Adams contributed seven digs and six kills for Las Vegas.
Sunrise Mountain 3, Chaparral 0 — At Chaparral, Cody Trapp had four kills and four blocks, and Damon Burton dished out 10 assists to help the Miners sweep the Cowboys, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22.
Nate Kirschbaum had 14 kills and four blocks for Chaparral, which got six kills from Raequan Charington and five kills from Paul Paradiso.