SBCC volleyball wins season opener 3-1 over Cal Lutheran


Ryan Cullom

Vaquero sophomore middle-back Robert Gulvin (No. 5) spikes the ball past Cal Lutheran University defender Nicholas Oertli (no. 5) for a kill during the City College win on Wednesday, Feb. 3, in the Sports Pavilion. The Vaqueros won the season opener against the Kingsmen in four sets, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23 and 25-14.

KURT GABOS, Channels Staff

City College men’s volleyball opened its season Wednesday evening taking down the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen 3-1 at the Sports Pavilion.

City College lost the first set of the match 20-25, then rallied to win three consecutive sets 25-21, 25-23, and 25-14.

“I still don’t have that much experience at volleyball yet, so I’ve been coming to practice early to get as many reps as I can,” said Robert Gulvin, the sophomore middle blocker who led City College offensively as he notched 12 kills. “It feels great, my whole team gets excited with me, it’s a good time.”

City College also got offensive help from freshman outside hitter Haward Gomes, sophomore outside hitter Taylor McCluskey and freshman opposite hitter Jackson Wopat who all registered eight kills.

In the first set the Vaqueros found themselves with a 7-5 lead before three consecutive blocks from the Kingsman shifted the momentum of the set. Cal Lutheran would go on to roll through the first set, never letting its lead slip from four points.

“We played the first set pretty terribly,” said head coach Matt Jones. “I thought we had a lot of nerves, only one or two guys looked comfortable on the court, but that’s to be expected because we have a lot of new faces and starters.”

The second set looked to be all but over as City College found itself with a 19-12 lead. Cal Lutheran cut down the lead with a 5-1 run to make it 20-17, but the Vaqueros proved to be too much to handle and closed out the set 25-21.

“I was reminding them that this is our home court,” explained Jones. “This is where we should be most comfortable, and we started getting more comfortable as the match went on.”

Cal Lutheran’s only lead of the third set came off the first point, after that, the Kingsmen found themselves chasing the Vaqueros on the scoreboard. Cal Lutheran brought the set to a tie on eight different occasions, before dropping two consecutive points to lose the set.

The fourth set was neck and neck before the Vaqueros went on an 8-2 run to take a nine point lead and didn’t look back. Wopat closed out the match with an ace, completing City College’s first game of the season.

Sophomore setter Kyle Smiley led the Vaqueros defensively with nine digs and 33 assists, while freshman middle blocker Jarrod Jordan had five blocks. And Wopat had four of his own along with eight digs.

Wednesday marked the first time Keaton Arutian stepped back into the Sports Pavilion after accepting a scholarship from Cal Lutheran.

“I thought Keaton did a pretty good job,” Jones said. “I think it was kinda tough for him, his team was out of system a lot, they had him running all over the place which makes it hard on the setter.”

City College plays its next match, against Orange Coast, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Sports Pavilion.

“It’ll be a battle,” said Jones. “We’re 0-2 against Ocean Coast since I’ve been here, so I’d be nice if we could get one.”