SBCC men’s volleyball loses to Santa Monica in five sets

Vaqueros+Freshman+Owen+Yoshimoto+gets+ready+to+serve+the+ball+in+the+game+against+Santa+Monica+College+Friday%2C+March+21%2C+at+the+Sports+Pavilion+in+Santa+Barbara.+Yoshimoto+finished+with+a+season+high+16+kills+but+the+Vaqueros+lost+2-3.

Charlotte Knegt

Vaqueros Freshman Owen Yoshimoto gets ready to serve the ball in the game against Santa Monica College Friday, March 21, at the Sports Pavilion in Santa Barbara. Yoshimoto finished with a season high 16 kills but the Vaqueros lost 2-3.

STEVEN SALAZAR, Channels Staff

City College men’s volleyball suffered a heart wrenching loss against Santa Monica College Friday, March 21, at the Sports Pavilion.

The Vaqueros (6-8, 1-6 in conference) dropped the ball at home to the Corsairs (8-5) losing 2-3 (26-28) (23-25) (25-14) (25-22) (11-15).

“We had opportunities and couldn’t capitalize,” said Head Coach Matthew Jones. “On the blocking we had balls go right through our hands and that’s just a fundamental break down.”

The teams both equally matched in size and talent battled all the way to the fifth set.

“We played very good until the end,” Owen Yoshimoto (No. 2) said.  He recorded 16 kills and had 14 blocks of the night, his brother Evan Yoshimoto (No. 9) finished with ten kills.

Santa Monica took the first two sets but slacked off in three and four allowing the Vaqueros to tie the game (2-2).

Despite a cold start by City College early in the first set they managed to pick things up and tie the score (25-25) but couldn’t take the lead.

“My biggest break down was passing today,” said sophomore Nick May (No.4) who tallied 13 kills, three of which were ace serves.

In the second set the Vaqueros kept their momentum gained at the end of the first set and earned a six point lead (11-5) but failed to maintain it.

“Slowly but surely our passing broke down and too many hitting errors, that’s not going to get it done,” Jones said.

In the third set the tide shifted and City College dominated all the way through at one point holding a 12-point lead.

Setter Drew Hogan (No. 11) ended the game with 38 assists and middle blocker Junior Too (No.1 3) had eight blocks of the night. Freshman Carl Mendoza (No.6) had 16 digs.

“We have a defensive guru, coach Z (Steve Zelko),” May said. “He’s on us every day and it’s been working.”

The Vaqueros were neck and neck with the Corsairs the entire fourth set, three separate times having the score tied.

“We had a nice service run.  Everyone wants games like that where everything starts clicking. The question was could we put together game four? And we did.  There was a battle there and we pulled through,” Jones said. “That’s always good to see.”

The Corsairs came out swinging in the fifth set establishing a seven point lead leaving City College too far behind to catch up.

“They dominated us in the serve and pass game in the last set,” Jones said. “If we don’t give them that 7-1 run it would have been anyone’s game, but the early break downs were not helpful.”

The Vaqueros will hit the road to face L.A. Pierce College for the second time this season Wednesday, March 26 at 6 p.m.