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No. 6 Warriors hand No. 4 Vaqueros first loss, 3-1

Kyle Skinner posted a season-high 20 kills and hit .515 in Friday's 3-1 setback. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Kyle Skinner posted a season-high 20 kills and hit .515 in Friday's 3-1 setback. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Kyle Skinner and Haward Gomes combined for 38 kills on Friday night but it wasn't enough to prevent SBCC's first men's volleyball loss of the season. No. 6 El Camino beat the visiting Vaqueros 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23).

The Warriors (4-3) were 1 point better in cumulative score, 92-91. The Vaqueros, ranked No. 4 in the state, fell to 5-1.

Skinner, a 6-4 sophomore from Santa Barbara High, had a season-high 20 kills and hit a sizzling .515 with just three errors in 33 swings. The Vaqueros hit .322 but committed 10 service errors and only four aces.

"I would rather have this loss early in the season than later," said Skinner. "We found our fire as a team in this match and that's more important than a win right now."

Gomes pounded 18 kills with a .438 hitting percentage and Blake Lockhart had 12 kills. Adam Simonetti dished out a season-high 50 assists to go along with eight digs and three blocks.

"The first loss of the season is always tough," said coach Jon Newton. "I was proud of the guys for turning the match around after a lackluster first two sets. We completely dominated the third set, led by team captain Cameron Fry who led us from the service line, as well as with energy and enthusiasm.

"Without that, we would have lost the match in three sets. This is a game that we can learn from. Despite the loss, we grew a lot as a team."

Santa Barbara will host No. 5 Santa Monica on Wednesday at 6 p.m.