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The Dana Hills boys volleyball team (left, royal blue) beat Trabuco Hills in three straight sets on March 21. Photo by Steve Breazeale
The Dana Hills boys volleyball team (left, royal blue) beat Trabuco Hills in three straight sets on March 21. Photo by Steve Breazeale

By Steve Breazeale

Dana Hills boys volleyball head coach Oz Simmons has seen his teams have past preseason success, only to fall flat in the league opener when the time came. That wasn’t the case on March 21 as the Dolphins opened up South Coast League play on the road with a convincing 3-0 win over Trabuco Hills.

The Dolphins (15-3, 1-0 league) enjoyed some preseason success this season, earning berths in the quarterfinals of the Best of the West Tournament in Poway and the semifinals in the OC Championships. Simmons touched on the fact that the Dolphins built up their confidence heading into the match with the Mustangs (11-1, 0-1) after playing some top talent from around Orange County.

The Dolphins looked comfortable, winning 25-18, 25-17 and 25-14.

Dana Hills built up leads early in sets and maintained comfortable cushions throughout. The Mustangs first and only lead came midway through the second set, when they took a slim 12-11 lead.

“In league it’s a different notch. We have come out in league kind of tight in recent years and so I think the guys played well today,” Simmons said. “They played solid all the way through. Just really consistent every single set.”

After the Mustangs took the 12-11 lead in the second set, the Dolphins responded two points later by going on an 8-0 run with junior Christian Hessenauer serving the whole time. Hessenauer tallied two of his three aces on the night during the run.

The serving of Hessenauer, and senior Bryce Yould, paced the Dolphin offense and set the tempo. Yould and Hessenauer both tallied 11 kills on the night. Yould also contributed two aces.

Dana Hills’ efforts on defense also helped generate their high powered offense. In the first set, senior libero James Koci made import digs to keep rallies alive that gave the Dolphins’ big hitters on the outside more chances to convert.

A March 26 league matchup against Aliso Niguel is up next for Dana Hills, who have won 10 out of their last 12 contests.

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