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San Clemente's AJ Hammer (6) and Garrett Costello (1) attempt to block a shot against Dana Hills junior Christian Hessenauer during an April 2 match. The two teams will square off again on April 25. Photo by Tony Tribolet/www.XPSPhoto.com
San Clemente’s AJ Hammer (6) and Garrett Costello (1) attempt to block a shot against Dana Hills junior Christian Hessenauer during an April 2 match. The two teams will square off again on April 25. Photo by Tony Tribolet/www.XPSPhoto.com

By Steve Breazeale

The San Clemente boys volleyball team won for the 22nd consecutive time April 18, after winning in three sets over South Coast League opponent Tesoro 25-15, 25-18 and 25-21.

The Tritons (22-0, 5-0 league) were led by Peter Van Liefde’s 12 kills. Shawn Stephens tallied nine kills and AJ Hammer and Garrett Costello each had six. As usual, senior setter Jack Yoder led the team with 35 assists.

Here are some interesting stats and season highlights to help put the Tritons win streak into perspective.

– They have not lost a match since February 26, which is 51 calendar days.

– 16 of their 22 wins have been straight-set shutouts, where they did not drop a single game to their opponent.

– They have only been pushed to five sets twice all year. The first instance was in a non-league match against Laguna Beach, a historically strong volleyball school, on March 13. The other was against South Coast League rival Dana Hills on April 2, when the Tritons rallied from down 2-0 to come back and win 3-2 in front of their home crowd. Jack Yoder had an impressive 75 assists in that game.

There’s no doubt the Tritons are having a special season, one that will challenge the school record books. They have one league match, against Trabuco Hills on April 23, before they will be tested again by the second place Dolphins on April 25. Dana Hills has won two in a row since falling to the Tritons and will have the benefit of playing in their own gym and in front of a Dolphin-friendly crowd in the highly anticipated rematch.

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