Men’s Volleyball: Vaquero’s fail to finish off L.A. Pierce in final match of the season

Travis Noe

After winning the first two sets 30-27 and 30-21, the City College men’s volleyball team struggled to close out the L.A Pierce Brahmas at the Sports Pavilion Friday night, losing the final three sets 34-32, 30-17, and 15-11.

Sophomore outside hitter’s Tyson Rietz and Chris Newcomb propelled the Vaqueros to a commanding two-set lead to start the match. Rietz and Newcomb’s chemistry with setter Jim Wielebnicki was unstoppable in the second set.

“We played great in those opening sets,” Rietz said. “Our outsides were getting it going. We looked good heading into the third game.”

The third set proved to be decisive. The Vaqs and Brahmas were back and forth all game, tying it up 11 times.

With the score tied at 30 in the third set, a spectacular block by Taylor Comden looked like it could be enough to end the match with a Vaquero victory. But the Brahmas persevered, taking four out of the last five points to extend the game to a fourth set.

“We could have won it there for a few seconds,” said Head Coach Melody Parker, “it’s tough heading into a fourth set after being so close.”

After rallying to barely win the third set, the Brahmas carried out that momentum by jumping out to early leads in the fourth and fifth sets.

Despite a few spectacular kills by Tyson Reitz, the Brahmas rallied a streak of four straight points that proved to be too much for the Vaqs in the final set, closing out the victory, 3-2.

Reitz, a stand out at City College was playing his final conference game as a Vaquero. He made an impact on the court in each set, providing the Vaqs with some crucial digs and kills when they needed it most.

“Tyson is a player,” Parker said. “The kid just has it in him.”

Reitz modestly acknowledged the impressive play of his teammates Chris Newcomb, and Jim Wielebnicki. Newcomb elevated the Vaqs with powerful outside spiking, and Wielebnicki, who just changed positions from libero, was in sync with his outside hitters.

“I’m really proud of the way our team performed tonight,” Reitz said. “We worked well together as a team. We improved each game this season.”

The Vaqs lost in three sets to the Brahmas earlier in the season.
“I’m proud of the boys. They showed a lot of character and competed hard all season long,” Parker said. “We’re definitely a better team now than we were a few months ago.”

The Vaqueros finished the season 1-9 in the Western State Conference, and an overall record of 5-12.