Search:

Merrill plays big role as San Clemente sweeps No. 9 Trabuco Hills

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

SAN CLEMENTE — San Clemente’s Kyle Merrill worried his performance Tuesday night against No. 8 Tesoro might have been a fluke.

The backup outside hitter smacked 13 kills that night while filling in for Bryce Curtis, who sprained his ankle.

Merrill started Thursday against No. 9 Trabuco Hills and pulverized any thought of the word “fluke” with a team-high 15 kills in San Clemente’s 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 South Coast League win.

“It’s incredible,” Merrill said. “I never really got a chance to get in the game like this, so being able to just go in and get so many kills and be such a help to my team was just a really great experience.”

The Tritons were also missing USC signee Aaron Strange, who also hurt his ankle Tuesday. San Clemente coach Ken Goldstone said Strange could be back within a few matches, but Curtis might be out for the rest of the season.

It appears the Tritons (15-7, 4-1) have a more-than-capable fill-in.

“(Merrill is) a real solid player in practice. Bryce was playing so well that he really wasn’t able to get his opportunity,” Goldstone said. “So now he’s got his opportunity and he’s coming on strong for us.”

Jess Hunt added 10 kills and middle blockers Kyler Presho-Hartung and Dillon Waikle combined for 13 kills.

Neither team led by more than five points, with both sides trading sideouts more often than not. The score was tied, 19-19, in the first and second sets and tied, 12-12, in the third before San Clemente stole momentum with a 10-5 scoring run.

Concordia signee Jack Flynn led Trabuco Hills with 22 kills — 17 coming in the final two sets. Derek Stoker added nine kills and nine digs.

The Tritons towered over Trabuco Hills (19-5, 3-2) with three players at 6-foot-8, but after the match Mustangs coach Dave Hollaway marveled at the Tritons’ passing.

“That’s probably the best I’ve seen them pass,” he said. “ … If they pass like that, they’re going to be really hard to beat.”

The Mustangs host Dana Hills on Tuesday and the Tritons get a week off before traveling to play the Dolphins next Thursday.


See archived 'Sports' stories »
 


Other Varsity coverage:
Inland Empire
Search Players


Football:

Santa Ana 14, Rancho Christian 52 - 01:01 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Calabasas 35, Capistrano Valley 14 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

St. John Bosco 21, Mater Dei 14 - 00:33 2nd QT - Completed

Football:

Edison 44, La Mirada 24 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Burbank 21, Yorba Linda 31 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Soccer:

El Modena 2, Orange Lutheran 2 - 45:00 2nd Half - Completed

Basketball:

Eisenhower 28, Mater Dei 93 - 02:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

Santa Fe 65, Foothill 53 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Valencia/Valencia 35, San Clemente 41 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

El Modena 21, Yorba Linda 28 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed