News: Volleyball Almost Pulls Off 2nd Comeback, Falls To OCC In 5
The Pasadena City College women's volleyball team proved a few things this week going up against two of the top-ranked teams from the state's monster league--the Orange Empire Conference. First, the Lancers cannot be counted out of any match even they do fall behind 2 games-to-0. Second, PCC served notice it is a legitimate contender to repeat its South Coast Conference title run of 2012.
The Lancers deceiving 1-5 overall record (3-2 if not for their opening week snafu with a CCCAA by-law Form 3 violation) doesn't take away from the team shocking win over No. 15-ranked Cypress in five games Wednesday. On Friday afternoon, PCC almost duplicated the feat, rallying again from 2-0 down to tie the match, but ultimately falling against No. 11-ranked Orange Coast College in five exciting sets, 25-22, 25-13, 18-25, 23-25, 15-11, at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
PCC's sophomore outside hitter Nora To'omalatai used her powerful swing to attack point for point with OCC's finesse hitter Sierra Brown. While Brown finished with an impressive 31 kills, To'omalatai scored her career Lancers' high of 29 kills and added 16 digs and three serving aces. PCC was outstanding all evening on the serving end, making only three errors the whole match and finishing with eight aces.
Another standout was Lancers frosh libero Saige Spence (Pasadena High), who put on a defensive clinic that had the side referee even counting out her many digs in disbelief. Spence finished with one of the highest single-match totals in PCC history with 36 digs and was also impressive on serve receive.
Outside hitter Thula Park added 13 kills, right side player Briana Hilton had six kills, 13 digs and three block assists while setter Tiffany Roesler hustled her way to 50 assists (113 this week alone). The sophomore made two dump kills during the fifth set, one that was PCC's last hurrah when it had cut Orange Coast's lead to 10-9. The Pirates never trailed in the shorter deciding game to 15.
OCC's height, including three players at 6-feet or above, was a factor as the OEC squad finished with 18 team block kills to only 6 made by the smaller Lancers.
PCC and Orange Coast (5-0) have had a recent history of playing in 5-set marathons, including last year's epic second round regional playoff win by the Lancers the Costa Mesa campus. In 2011, the teams went to five in a Lancers win.
"We showed desire and that ability to not quit," said PCC interim head coach Bill Sanchez. "Orange Coast is easily one of the best programs out there, and we battled all the way to five sets. We have to feel pretty good about ourselves this week. We have some work to do, but the players are understanding of just how close they are of being one of those top-ranked squads. From a competitive standpoint, we belong with all of them."
PCC takes a much needed short break until it participates in the Los Angeles Pierce Brahmas Invitational tournament on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 27-28.
[Photo--Lancer libero Saige Spence makes one of her 36 digs Friday during PCC's 5-set loss to Orange Coast at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 09/21/2013