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Magnificent Season Ends For Women's Volleyball, Bakersfield Upends Lancers in 5

Magnificent Season Ends For Women's Volleyball, Bakersfield Upends Lancers in 5 image

As seasons go, the 2009 campaign will go down as one of the greatest in Pasadena City College women's volleyball history. The Lancers had hoped the season would have lasted a little longer. 

PCC, the state's No. 2-ranked team and the South's top seed, rallied from 2-games-1 down to force a fifth game, but No. 8 seed and 15th-ranked Bakersfield ultimately eliminated the Lancers, 26-24, 23-25, 25-16, 15-25, 15-10, in a Southern California Regional Final before 250 fans at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Saturday night. 

The Lancers had a school-record 22-match winning streak stopped by the Renegades, who are making their first trip since 1993 to the CCCAA Championships next week in Stockton (Dec. 4-6). PCC finished a season that included an undefeated 16-0 run to win the South Coast Conference championship at 23-2. Bakersfield improved to 20-5.

PCC had not lost since the opening day of the season (swept by Cypress).

Against Bakersfield, the Lancers jumped out to 1-0 game lead with Patti Blasco hitting 6 kills, including a set by Cambria Mendez to clinch the game. PCC trailed 22-18, then came back from two game points to win the opener.

Bakersfield took game 2 capped by a solo block from Brookey Holmes. The Renegades then went ahead, 2-1, by going on an 11-1 run that gave them a 17-12 lead. Again it was Holmes making a block to clinch that set. 

PCC seemed to have things going its way as Bakersfield lost two starters to injury, including top kill leader Reisa Fessler early in the fourth game. The Lancers jumped out to a 7-1 lead, then 15-5 on Marissa Rangel's ace. Jessica Foley would cap the game 4 win with a kill.

In the decisive fifth game, Bakersfield never trailed, but PCC would eventually cut it to 9-8 on a kill by Nicole Holmes. At that point, the Renegades ran off a 5-1 run to get it to match point. Blasco slammed home a kill to cut the deficit, but LaPorsha Singh's kill gave Bakersfield the upset victory at 15-10.

Overall, PCC was led by the All-State freshman Blasco, who had 21 kills and 15 digs. Nicole Holmes, a sophomore, added 11 kills and Miranda Doing 7 kills and 4 blocks. Sophomore opposite Galia Sotomayor made 6 kills. 

The Lancers had season-best performances from defensive specialists Mendez (12 digs) and sophomore Anita Wang with 8 digs. Rangel, the team's sophomore libero, ended her PCC volleyball career (she is also on the softball team in the Spring) by recording 17 digs with 2 aces and 3 assists. 

All-State freshman setter Jessica Xu added 41 assists.

For Bakersfield, Brookey Holmes scored 16 kills and 13 digs and libero Sarah Kurfess was a defensive wizard with 33 digs (and 10 set assists). The Renegades outblocked PCC, 11-7. In overall digs, Bakersfield won that battle, 76-62. 

"Once you get into the playoffs, it's just a new ballgame," said PCC Head Coach Tammy Silva. "We never really shook the nervous play that affected us in both of our regional matches. Bakersfield played with a lot of heart and it didn't let losing those two players disrupt the momentum. We won that fourth game, but we didn't seem right. It was a tough way to lose, but we know what it will take to try to get to the state tournament next year."

[Photo--Galia Sotomayor, black jersey 8, hits into a block by Bakersfield's Reisa Fessler during the Lancers' 5-game loss to the Renegades Saturday in the Southern California Regional Finals at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/28/09
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu