News: No. 18 Women's Volleyball Inching Toward SCC Title
The driver's seat to a conference title belongs to the state No. 18-ranked Pasadena City College women's volleyball team after it swept No. 22 Mt. San Antonio, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21, Friday night in a crucial South Coast Conference victory at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
The Lancers (12-8 overall) continue to be tied with No. 11 El Camino for the conference lead with 10-1 league records, but PCC holds the ace card having already beaten the Warriors on the road. PCC was able to knock Mt. SAC (8-3) out of the conference race and avenge its only conference loss earlier this year. Barring any upsets this coming week, the SCC crown will be decided on Nov. 20 when the Lancers host El Camino in the conference finale.
Pasadena is on a season-best, seven-match win streak and played perhaps its most complete match of the season in defeating the Mounties. In the opening set, the Lancers never trailed and capped the game with a kill by middle blocker Angela Banuelos. In set 2, the teams were tied 10 different times until 16-16 before outside hitter Nora To'omalatai went to work with three consecutive booming kills that gave the Lancers a 19-16 advantage.
PCC closed the set on a 9-1 run that was capped by back-to-back aces from the serving hand of To'omalatai. The sophomore never let the Lancers trail in the third game as she appropriately ripped her 17th kill for match point to cap the sweep. She added 11 digs and three aces. Her two straight service points sealed the set 2 victory.
"Nora really stepped it up tonight and it's what great players do," said PCC head coach Bill Sanchez said. "She's got unlimited potential because she can power the ball at terrific speed. We have two freshman middle blockers that are controlling the net in Angela Banuelos and Kendra Logan. Angela made plays at key junctures for us."
Banuelos delivered with seven kills and five blocks (one solo). Her first set included four kills and three blocks, two in a row after Mt. SAC had cut a 17-11 lead to 17-15. Sanchez said the blocks clearly changed any momentum the Mounties had put together.
The Lancers stayed with their short seven-player rotation with all seven contributing. Sophomore outside hitter Thula Parks slammed nine kills, made 12 digs and had three blocks. Sophomore right side hitter Brian Hilton added five kills, 11 digs and two blocks in one her best matches of the year. Letterman sophomore setter Tiffany Roesler, a player who was converted from outside hitter this season, dished out 38 assists and made eight digs while sophomore libero Victoria Arreola was strong on serve receive and overall defense with 13 digs plus two aces.
Finally, the rookie Logan, whose absence from the first encounter v. Mt. SAC had such a major negative impact for the Lancers, added three kills and three blocks. However, her presence at the net led to several attack errors by the Mounties, who faced block interference all night from Logan and Banuelos.
PCC hosts East Los Angeles College on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in a 6 p.m. first serve at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
[Photo--Nora To'omalatai drives a kill during the Lancers sweep over rival Mt. San Antonio on Friday, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 11/08/2013