Sports in the News
Women's VB Showdown For SCC 1st Place Friday: State No. 1 El Camino v. No. 6 Lancers
It's something that usually occurs in women's basketball when Pasadena City College plays rival Mt. San Antonio. But for the first time on Friday, October 16, women's volleyball will have its duel for first place in the South Coast Conference when the Lancers host the two-time, defending state champion Warriors of El Camino College. Match time is 6 p.m. at PCC's Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.While it's the end of the first of two rounds of play, the Lancers take their highest regular season ranking ever at No. 6 on the CCCWVCA State Top 25 poll into Friday's match against top-ranked and undefeated El Camino (16-0).
The Lancers set up the showdown by sweeping visiting Long Beach City College, 25-19, 25-16, 25-18, Wednesday night. Pasadena won its 12th consecutive match and moved its overall record to 13-1. Pasadena and El Camino each are undefeated in the SCC with 7-0 marks.
Pasadena has won 39 of 45 games played this season, recording its 11th sweep.
Against Long Beach, sophomore transfer outside hitter Nicole Holmes showed some of the hitting ability she performed two years ago when she was Cypress College's top kills leader. The 5-foot-10 Holmes knocked down her season high of 13 kills with 6 digs and 3 aces.
Frosh outside hitter Patti Blasco added 9 kills (7 in the first game) and was a serving wizard with 4 aces. She added 6 digs. Sophomore libero Marissa Rangel had several spectacular diving plays and finished with 10 digs. Frosh setter Klaire Blasco had 19 assists and 7 digs in picking up the play for starter Jessica Xu, who still totaled 17 assists, 5 kills and 6 digs in an off night for the first-year, Chinese product.
Freshman middle blocker Miranda Doing contributed 4 blocks and 3 kills while sophomore lefty opposite Galia Sotomayor had 5 kills and 2 blocks. PCC Head Coach Tammy Silva thought her bench played well, citing the defensive play of Cambria Mendez and the hitting of Chelsea Umana (2 kills in 7 hard attempts during the third game).
Silva, though, was excited to see Holmes have a big match. Holmes had a team-high 29 attack attempts (only 3 errors) as both setters worked the ball toward her. She hit .345 in the match.
"We talked to Nicole about her Cypress statistics when she was a freshman," Silva said. "She had a lot of kills, but she made too many errors. We've been pushing her in practice. We expect her to hit with more accuracy and authority. Tonight, she did just that. It was a huge thing because we need her veteran leadership, and she adds that 1-2 punch with Patti (Blasco)."
For Long Beach (6-8, 4-3 in the SCC), Kathy Hunt and Serefina Starks totaled 8 kills each.
The Lancers have never won the South Coast championship since entering the conference back in 1986. El Camino has 11 titles in that time and has won each of the last eight SCC championships going back to 2001.
"It's a great challenge to face El Camino," Silva said. "They won the state title on our floor in December when PCC hosted the CCCAA championships, but that seems like a long time ago now. My first goal when I took the job here was to win a conference title, and the only way we can do that is beat El Camino."
In her third season coaching the Lancers, Silva recorded her 40th victory and is inching closer to a century milestone with 95 career victories (previously coached at Citrus College).
[Photo--Nicole Holmes (red 9) slams down one of her 13 kills in PCC's 3-game sweep of Long Beach at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Wednesday evening, image by Richard Quinton.]
Release Date: 10/14/09
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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