City College stages dramatic comeback, falls short in final set

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City College stages dramatic comeback, falls short in final set

Vaquero’s libero Casey Alper (No. 10) twists into a dive to catch a volley during the fifth set in a match against Santa Monica College, Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Santa Barbara Sports Pavilion on East Campus. Despite their overall loss of 2-3, the Vaqueros played a close game, tying in the first four sets only to lose the final set by 2 points with a final score of 16-18 in the fifth set.

Vaquero’s libero Casey Alper (No. 10) twists into a dive to catch a volley during the fifth set in a match against Santa Monica College, Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Santa Barbara Sports Pavilion on East Campus. Despite their overall loss of 2-3, the Vaqueros played a close game, tying in the first four sets only to lose the final set by 2 points with a final score of 16-18 in the fifth set.

Jazmyne Cushenberry

Vaquero’s libero Casey Alper (No. 10) twists into a dive to catch a volley during the fifth set in a match against Santa Monica College, Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Santa Barbara Sports Pavilion on East Campus. Despite their overall loss of 2-3, the Vaqueros played a close game, tying in the first four sets only to lose the final set by 2 points with a final score of 16-18 in the fifth set.

Jazmyne Cushenberry

Jazmyne Cushenberry

Vaquero’s libero Casey Alper (No. 10) twists into a dive to catch a volley during the fifth set in a match against Santa Monica College, Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Santa Barbara Sports Pavilion on East Campus. Despite their overall loss of 2-3, the Vaqueros played a close game, tying in the first four sets only to lose the final set by 2 points with a final score of 16-18 in the fifth set.

LANDON HUNT, Channels Staff

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City College men’s volleyball couldn’t complete the comeback against Santa Monica, losing in five sets after coming back from 2-0 Wednesday at the Santa Barbara Sports Pavilion.

“Not fantastic enough,” said head coach Matt Jones. “Two points short.”

City College found themselves down 2-0 to Santa Monica, last year’s runner-up in state playoffs, but they battled back by winning the next two sets.

The comeback was led by freshman outside hitter Taylor McCluskey (No. 4) who had 19 kills and seven digs, sophomore middle blocker To’o To’o  (No. 13) who had 11 kills of his own, and freshman setter Keaton Arutian (No. 5) who had 27 assists in the match.

Santa Monica set the tone early by jumping out to a 12-2 lead in the first set and they wouldn’t let up as they won the set 25-13. The second set wasn’t quite as lopsided, but they came out on top again 25-20.

City College began to fight back in the third set. After going down 17-14, they were able to come back and win the set 25-22.

City College found themselves down 21-19 in the fourth set, but the Vaqueros came back yet again and the rest of the set went back and forth. City College tied it up at 21 and from that point on neither team was able to gain more than a one point lead until City College finally finished it off with two straight points to win the set 30-28.

“We really made a big change as a team and started playing together,” McCluskey said. “Rather than playing solo and trying to win by ourselves.”

The fifth and deciding set started with both teams exchanging points until City College was able to get a 12-10 lead, forcing Santa Monica to call a timeout. City College gained another two-point lead when they made it 13-11 but they couldn’t finish off the set.

Santa Monica rallied for three straight points, prompting City College to use a timeout of their own. The teams continued to go back and forth but with the score tied at 16, Santa Monica finished off the Vaqueros hopes for a comeback. After a missed serve from City College, Santa Monica sophomore libero Frankie Manes finished off the set and the match with an ace serve.

“In the fourth and fifth sets we just got into some battles and we came out on the right side of one and the wrong side of the other,” said Jones.

City College will play its next match at 6 p.m. Friday Feb. 27 at LA Pierce.

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