SBCC men’s volleyball defeats Long Beach in five set thriller

The+Vaqueros+celebrate+as+they+tie+the+score%2C+14-14%2C+in+the+fifth+and+final+set+against+Long+Beach+City+College+Friday%2C+April+11%2C+at+the+Sports+Pavilion+in+Santa+Barbara.+The+Vaqueros+went+on+to+win+the+deciding+set%2C+20-18%2C+and+won+the+match%2C+3-2.

Charlotte Knegt

The Vaqueros celebrate as they tie the score, 14-14, in the fifth and final set against Long Beach City College Friday, April 11, at the Sports Pavilion in Santa Barbara. The Vaqueros went on to win the deciding set, 20-18, and won the match, 3-2.

STEVEN SALAZAR, Channels Staff

City College men’s volleyball finished five agonizing sets in its final game of the season to beat the Long Beach City College Vikings Friday, April 11, at the Sports Pavilion.

The marathon match ended 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 21-25 and 20-18 in favor of City College.

The Vaqueros (9-10 overall, 4-8 conference) were led by Nick May (No. 4) who recorded a season-high 19 kills in his final game for City College.

Long Beach City College (15-4, 9-3) still finished second in the Western State Conference.

“On paper we weren’t playing for anything, but we had a lot of pride on the line,” said Matthew Jones, head coach.

In a grand finale, City College was about to keep fighting after the Vikings forced four game points in the fifth in final set.

“[We] wanted to send our sophomores off on a good note and we did in our best league win,” Jones said.

Long Beach maintained a solid lead until City College pulled together and tied (11-11) mid game with an ace serve by Evan Yoshimoto (No. 9).   The Vaqueros could not hold the lead and the Vikings took the set.

“I was a little nervous at first in my own head, but in the middle of the first set I convinced myself that I was ready to go,” said E. Yoshimoto.  “I was stoked.”

Yoshimoto finished the match with 18 kills while only committing six errors.

The second set was one of the most grueling of the night with 11 ties, the last at 16-up, then after some perfectly executed blocks by the Vaqueros they pulled ahead to win it.

The third set was City College all the way.

The team found rhythm conducted by Coach Jones as they kept the lead to gain the set.

Libero Carl Mendoza (No. 6) finished with 20 digs and Cory McDown (No. 5) recorded 44 assists and 15 digs.

The fourth set was not as smooth. The Vikings noticed a soft spot and began hitting the defensive holes with dump shots one after another taking the set and tied the game, 2-2.

In the fifth set every point was a fight with the Vaqueros on the losing end at 10-11, until Davis Grininger (No. 3) set up a perfect ball.

The intensity grew in the gymnasium each time the score was equal, 15-up, 16-up, 17-up, and 18-up before the Vaqueros closed the gap to win the game.

“We just took off after some slumps in the middle, but came out on top and it was a good win,” Mendoza said.

City College had nothing to lose and came out of the fight victorious.

“We started a little slow, but after the first game I think we realized how important it was being our sophomores’ last game, so we had to picked it up and played really good toward the end,” freshman Owen Yoshimoto (No. 2) said.

Ending the season with a win against a great team—what more could you ask for said Jones.

“Me and the boy’s talk about how to win and I guess we finally figured it out,” Jones said.

City College’s first year head coach plans to take what he’s learned from this season to the next.

“We need to be consistently hungry and treat every point like its game point so that we don’t dig these holes, if we can have that mentality we wouldn’t be in those situations and we’d play with more confidence,” Jones said.