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Cypress Ends Volleyball's Hopes For Final Four, 3-1

Cypress Ends Volleyball's Hopes For Final Four, 3-1 image

The last time a Pasadena City College women's volleyball team made it to the state championship tournament was in 1995. And that's the way it will stay for at least another year as the 2010 Lancers were deprived of a trip to the CCCAA Final Four by host No. 1 seed Cypress, 25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, in a Southern California regional third round match Tuesday night.

The No. 4-seeded Lancers (22-5) saw their season go full circle with the defeat. PCC had swept Cypress on the opening day of the season, Aug. 27, at the Pasadena Quad Tournament. 

The Chargers (24-4), last year's state runner-up at Stockton, advance to the Final Four along with the other three top seeds--South No. 2 LA Pierce, North No. 1 Cabrillo, and North No. 2 Santa Rosa. The double-elimination championships will be played in the South at Chaffey College Dec. 4-5.

PCC wasted a golden opportunity in game 1 as it led 17-12 before Cypress went on an 8-1 run to take the lead. Although the Lancers cut it to 22-21 on a kill by Kirsten Taylor, Cypress would take the set thanks to back-to-back unforced PCC errors. Pasadena hit .438 in the game despite being on the short end.

In game 2, the Lancers took control on an 8-1 run of their own, capped by a dump kill from setter Danielle Stewart that made it 16-8. PCC led 20-11, but Cypress roared back to cut it to 21-18. An Aliyyah Abdullah solo block capped the Lancers' lone winning set.

In game 3, Cypress led from start to finish with Nicole Boyle tallying six kills and five digs in helping the Chargers take a 2-1 games lead. The fourth game was an epic battle as the teams tied each other 15 times, the last at 19-19. Boyle hammered two kills to put Cypress ahead for good. Sarah Casillas pounded a kill to clinch the match and end the Pasadena season.

Taylor, a sophomore middle blocker, had a tremendous match with 14 kills (.400 hitting percentage), two aces and five digs while Abdullah was proficient in recording 15 kills, eight digs, and three blocks. Sophomore setter Stewart dished out 46 assists with three kills and 16 digs. Frosh libero Jessica Vargas added 16 digs. Middle blocker Miranda Doing tacked on eight kills, six digs, two blocks and two assists.

The player who had the most attack attempts (39) struggled in sophomore outside hitter Markisha Richie, who made 12 errors on her way to getting nine kills. Sophomore opposite Jessica Foley added five kills.

For Cypress, Boyle put on a clinic with 19 kills and 17 digs while Casillas aided the cause with nine kills and 11 digs. Kelsey Mersey was a power at the net with nine kills and four blocks. 

"We got this far only to see our inconsistent play catch up to us finally," said PCC Head Coach Tammy Silva. "We went the wrong direction in Game 1 after starting out the match so well. It's frustrating to know we had the talent to make it to the Final Four, and that we lost to a team that we had already beaten. Taylor and Vargas did a great job for us, but we needed a lot more than what we received from our outsides."

Abdullah, an All-State selection, passed the 300 kill mark for the season with 309, making her just the second player since 1995 to reach the coveted mark. Mariel Arcos has the PCC record for kills with 387 in 2001. Vargas set the new single-season Lancers record for most digs with 343. Stewart's 51 aces is the most by a Lancer since Helen Yee's record of 59 in '95.

[Photo--Kirsten Taylor tips the ball at the net with teammate Danielle Stewart looking on during PCC's four-game loss at Cypress College Tuesday night, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 12/01/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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