The Carpinteria High School boys volleyball team has been enjoying life in the new Citrus Coast League (CCL). With only one league loss, the Warriors sit atop the standings. Early in the week they hosted Fillmore on “senior night,” a game that proved to be no challenge for the Warriors, who swept the Flashes, 3-0, with game scores of 25-9, 25-9 and 25-14. The win gives the Warriors a 6-1 record in the CCL, 8-5 overall. A victory in their final game at Nordhoff will bring home the inaugural league championship.    

Fillmore entered the contest, winless on the season, 0-7 in league, 0-16 overall. But a hard serve from Eddie Gamez gave the Flashes an early 4-3 lead in game one. The two teams went back and forth until the home team edged ahead 7-6, with the Warriors Liam Slade serving. A little push over the net by Luke Nakasone increased the lead to 10-6, and by the time Slade finished serving, Fillmore found themselves down 16-6. Nine points were the closest the Flashes would get; as Slade hammered down a spike to close out the first game, 25-9.

In the second game, with Favian Martinez serving, Fillmore jumped out to a 3-0 lead. However, behind the solid services of Gavin Lohuis and Slade, the Warriors moved out to an 15-8 lead. “Believe me, I’m happy with my guys and the results, they played composed and they were trying to minimize their errors,” said Carpinteria coach Dino Garcia who returned to the bench for the first time in two weeks after being out due to an illness.

A crosscourt, diagonal kill by Gabriel Medel extended the lead to 18-8. “Fillmore didn’t go down without a fight. But they were outmatched in hitting power,” explained Garcia. When Medel’s drop over the net deflected off a Flashes’ hand, the Warriors captured game two, 25-9 once again for a 2-0 lead.

In game three, Gamez’ spike down the middle of the floor helped Fillmore to keep pace, trailing just 11-8. But another Slade kill down the baseline, extended the lead to 15-11. From his outside hitter position, Slade cranked out 20 kills on the night. “They (Carpinteria) were just playing intelligent, they seemed to have control throughout the whole match, and they ended consistent,” said Garcia.

The Warriors once again built a big lead behind Lohuis’ and Slade’s serves to go up 24-13. Louis Zamora’s tap over the net, closed the game out at 25-14 for the 3-0 match sweep. “Louis Zamora Number-10, middle blocker did a great job defending the net,” said Garcia. Zamora also contributed 15 kills and four aces. Starting libero Miguel Enriquez provided three aces to go along with 29 digs.

Even with five seniors on the roster: Enriquez, Nicholas Kalin, Slade, George Soriano and Zamora, the climb to the top of the league hasn’t been easy. “The obstacles, they’ve overcome are immense, there were a lot of them,” explained Garcia. “They were difficult, obstacles from injuries, to missing guys to grades, to starting off the season with only five, six guys on the roster,” added Garcia. Carpinteria hopes the payoff will result in a Citrus Coast League title.

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