Volleyball's Valiant Effort Falls Short, SBCC Eliminates Lancers in 5
The underdog, No. 12-seeded Pasadena City College women's volleyball team left its season on the floor at No. 4 Santa Barbara City College Saturday night. The Lancers did everything they possibly could but complete a second straight upset as the Vaqueros won the marathon Southern California Regional Round 2 playoff match, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 27-29, 15-13.
"We threw everything we could at Santa Barbara, and they gave it right back at us," said PCC interim head coach Bill Sanchez. "We fought off two match points in the fourth set and we never quit in that fifth. They just got a few more points than us."
The Lancers won the opening set, lost the next two, then played a game for the ages in set 4 to tie the match. The teams fought to 20 ties and 11 lead changes. PCC faced match point against at 24-23 and 25-24. Lancers' outside hitter Nora To'omalatai drilled back-to-back kills to give the Lancers a 26-25 lead. She hit another kill at 27-26. Finally, a Vaqueros' service error was followed by a perfectly served ace by To'omalatai in the center of the floor for set point at 29-27.
In the deciding fifth set, Santa Barbara went ahead 7-4, but the Lancers fought back again to tie it at 7-7. The Vaqueros went on a 5-0 run for a 12-7 lead with PCC answering with a 5-1 run that cut it to 13-12. A combined block by Thula Parks and Angela Baneulos staved off another match point to make it 14-13. However, SBCC's Jenna Anderson sent a hard tip that the PCC defense couldn't return for match point.
PCC's season ended at 15-10 while Santa Barbara advances to face No. 1 seed Irvine Valley (22-0) next week.
It was a historic night for PCC's To'omalatai, the sophomore All-SoCal Region selection. To'omalatai finished her Lancers' career in becoming the first PCC hitter to ever record 400 kills in a season (414). The all-time leader in kills and aces at PCC, To'omalatai powered 25 kills in 63 attempts with five errors. She added 16 digs and three blocks.
Other Lancers with big performances were libero Victoria Arreola, who totaled a career high 30 digs to go with three aces and three assists, right side hitter Briana Hilton recording a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, freshman middle blocker Kendra Logan adding up seven kills and four blocks (two solos), and fellow first-year middle blocker Angela Banuelos with five kills and five blocks (one solo). Parks added 10 kills, 19 digs and four aces while sophomore setter Tiffany Roesler had 50 assists and 15 digs.
For Santa Barbara, Anderson, an All-SoCal selection, had 15 kills, 18 digs and six blocks while Jasmine Ward powered 17 kills. Middle blocker Taylor Badois added seven kills and six blocks (two solo).
Santa Barbara head coach Ed Gover had great praise for the Lancers' top hitter, To'omalatai.
"Nora is very, very smart with her shot selection and the precision of her shots," Gover said. "Not too many have a great roll shot like hers. It was a great college match, both teams battled their hearts out. They played great defense and so did we."
[Photo--Nora To'omalatai set a PCC record for most kills in a season with 414 and is seen here in the Lancers' five-set loss at Santa Barbara City College Saturday night, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]