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Steve Breazeale

On April 25 the Dana Hills boys volleyball case made a strong statement to the rest of the South Coast League that they are still alive in the race for their fourth consecutive title.

Playing host to rival San Clemente, the Dolphins were able to avenge their five-set loss earlier this month with a 25-17, 27-25, 26-24 victory.

The loss snapped the Tritons (23-1, 6-1) 23-match unbeaten streak and put both teams in a tie for first-place.

Dolphins junior Christian Hessenauer tallied a game-high 18 kills. Doug Hamann contributed seven and Bryce Yould had six.

With senior Lucas Yoder out of the picture, San Clemente head coach Ken Goldstone said in the buildup to the match that the team will need to rely on several players to step up, rather than going to Yoder early and often in sets.

AJ Hammer was one player Goldstone pegged to help fill the void that was once occupied by Yoder’s offense. Hammer had a productive night, recording a team-high 11 kills. Shawn Stephens tacked on nine and Peter Van Liefde had seven in the loss.

Both teams still have one game left to play in league and could find themselves alone at the top if the other should slip at the finish line. Dana Hills will travel to play fifth-place Tesoro and San Clemente will host third-place Capistrano Valley on April 30.

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