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New Lineup Spurs Women's Volleyball To Playoff Sweep Over Bakersfield

New Lineup Spurs Women's Volleyball To Playoff Sweep Over Bakersfield image

Pasadena City College women's volleyball head coach Tammy Silva decided to roll the dice and heavily play three reserve freshmen Tuesday night in the sixth-seeded Lancers' first-round Southern California Regional Playoff match against 11th-seed Bakersfield. The new lineup paid off for PCC as the state's No. 8-ranked team swept the Renegades, 25-17, 30-28, 25-22, at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

The Lancers (20-4) went to a new libero in freshman Jennifer Estrada, who put on a defensive clinic with 20 digs. Frosh outside hitter Viridiana Gallardo also came up big with 10 kills and nine digs while rookie setter Kailey Faust was smooth with 24 assists.

On Saturday, Nov. 26, Pasadena will travel to face No. 3 seed Grossmont, a five-set winner over 14th seed Cypress, in a 6 p.m. second-round regional match at the Griffins' San Diego County campus in El Cajon.

"We were tenacious and just played with more heart than we've had in a long while," Silva said. "Jennifer and Viri were outstanding. We felt we had to go to a new look because the old one wasn't working. It seemed to spark us. We got to use Jessica Xu more at the net with Kailey giving some nice sets. Our passing was as good as we've had all year."

Xu, the sophomore setter and All-State player from 2009, got to exact a little revenge against Bakersfield, the same college that knocked the '09 top-seed Lancers out in the third round two seasons ago. Xu had seven kills, set 26 assists, made eight digs and put down four blocks (one solo) in a superb all-around effort. 

All-SoCal Region selection and sophomore outside hitter Ella Moe was solid with 13 kills and seven digs. 

The Lancers hit a strong .336 overall and came up with 54 digs in the three games. Frosh middle blocker Jackie Valle-Acosta hammered eight kills in 12 attempts with four blocks. Frosh middle blocker Megan Callen added six kills and two solo blocks. Freshman outside hitter Anolani Ramos-McCorriston distrubuted seven kills.

Bakersfield (16-10) was led by Brittany Smith with 13 kills and setter Erica Rico with 35 assists and two aces. 

In an epic second set that featured 15 ties, the Lancers came back from game point, down 27-26 on a kill by Gallardo. Bakersfield took a 28-27 lead, but Callen responded with a kill to tie it again. Then Gallardo, who played in a CIF LA City Section championship match last year for Polytechnic High (Sun Valley), powered back-to-back kills to give the game to PCC at 30-28.

If PCC defeats Grossmont on Saturday, it would advance to the third round on Tuesday, Nov. 29 against the winner of No. 2 El Camino v. No. 10 Irvine Valley.  Last season, the Lancers reached the third round before being eliminated there by Cypress. If Irvine, an upset winner over No. 7 Moorpark, were to defeat El Camino and PCC beat Grossmont, the Lancers would come home to play their third round match as the higher seed.

[Photo--Viridiana Gallardo (10), Jennifer Estrada (white shirt 2) and Jackie Valle-Acosta (15) celebrate following a point during PCC's sweep over Bakersfield Tuesday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/23/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu