Men’s volleyball loses to LA Pierce in first home loss

Jerard O'Byrne, Channels Staff

The SBCC men’s volleyball team dropped its first home game of the season 3-1 to LA Pierce College at the Sports Pavilion on Friday night.

City College started strong and grabbed the first game but then lost three straight. Pierce was able to use size to its advantage, with the Vaqueros having a tough time getting the ball past the blockers. Both teams were ranked in the top 10, with Pierce eighth and the Vaqueros fourth.

“Pierce came in and played better volleyball then we did,” said head coach Jon Newton. “ It just looked like they had more fight, they didn’t play timid, they played to win, they played good volleyball and we didn’t.”

City College and Pierce went back and forth for the majority of the first set. Pierce would get the lead 21-17, but the Vaqueros stormed back to score 7 straight points and take the lead 24-21. The Vaqueros grabbed the set 25-23 off an error from Pierce.

In the second set the Vaqueros got down early to Pierce and had a tough time trying to get the lead. The Vaqueros were down 15-8 and then went a small run to cut the lead 16-12. Then the Brahma Bulls pushed the score to 18-12. The Vaqueros got it close and cut the lead to two, making the score 21-19. But ultimately Pierce would win the set 25-21 with the final pont coming off a Vaquero error.

“We did a lot of preparation for the game,”said Libero Misaki Cramer (No.1). “But when it came to game time we didn’t do the things that we prepared to do and we didn’t follow the strategy we prepared.”

In the third set City College got down early again 9-4, and Pierce pushed for another six successive points. The Vaqueros went on a run and tied the game 15-15 off a missed kill by Pierce. The Vaqueros took the lead 17-15 but couldn’t close out the set to lose 25-22.

In the fourth set the, City College and Pierce went back and forth with the score tied 8-8. They would continue to swap until Pierce grabbed a four point lead, bringing the score to 18-14.  The Vaqueros would make another push to make the score 22-20, but Pierce finished it out and won the final set 25-21 off a block out of bounds from the Vaqueros.

“It was a really good game,” said outside hitter Bradley Kleven. “Both teams played at a high level but a lot of things didn’t go our way. Our hustle was there but there’s was to.”

Despite a supportive crowd, this was the Vaqueros first home loss this season. They dropped their first conference game this season in a very tight conference with five teams.

“You got to keep moving forward,” Newton said. “All the goals we have set for ourselves are still in place and still achievable. But we prepare, we focus a little more and practice harder but now we’re in crunch time and it’s do you want to win or do you want to be mediocre.”

City College drops to 9-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference. The next game is Friday March, 30 at Moorpark College. The next home game for the Vaqueros is at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 13, against Moorpark College in what will be the final game of the regular season.