News: Double Whammy--Upset Of State No. 9 El Camino Puts VB in 1st Place Tie
Everything pointed against the Pasadena City College women's volleyball team going into its match Friday v. state No. 9-ranked El Camino. The only below-.500 team on the top 25 ratings at No. 25, the Lancers entered the Warriors gymnasium as a clear underdog v. an El Camino team on an 8-match winning streak and atop the South Coast Conference.
Rather than settling for an outcome that on paper appeared likely, PCC took the upset route and knocked off El Camino in four sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21. In winning, the Lancers immediately catapulted themselves into both the race for the SCC title and a possible berth in the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
The Lancers are at .500 overall (8-8) for the first time this year after a 1-6 start (including two forfeits). PCC, El Camino and Mt. San Antonio are all now in a three-way deadlock for first place in the South Coast, each with 6-1 league records.
Sophomore outside hitter Nora To'omalatai pounded 19 kills and totaled a team-high 14 digs in a dominating performance. Frosh middle blocker Angela Banuelos (pictured) added nine kills and six assisted blocks while freshman middle blocker Kendra Logan contributed five kills and five blocks. Second-year outside hitter Thula Parks made 11 kills and three blocks, and setter Tiffany Roesler amassed 43 assists. Libero Victoria Arreola had 10 digs and served two aces.
In a pivotal third set, El Camino led 23-22, but the Lancers responded with a kill and ace by Banuelos. Banuelos teamed with Roesler for the set-clinching block. In the fourth game, Logan would clinch the celebration for PCC with a block for match point.
"It was our best match of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time," said PCC interim head coach Bill Sanchez. "Both of our middles were outstanding (team recorded 10 blocks for points). We made better decisions than we've had recently. We still have work to do but this was a special match for our confidence. We know now we can win this conference if we can get our play to reach a consistent level."
For El Camino, 13-4, SueKalena Tafao totaled 18 kills, 16 digs, and dished out 29 assists.
PCC will next host LA Harbor College on Wednesday, Oct. 30 in a 6 p.m. conference match at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
Release Date: 10/26/2013