Vaqueros break out the brooms, sweep LA Pierce in conference win

Keoni+Thiim%2C+six+kills%2C+goes+up+for+a+spike+during+the+first+set+of+City+College%27s+sweep+of+Pierce+College+men%27s+volleyball.

Judah Brody

Keoni Thiim, six kills, goes up for a spike during the first set of City College’s sweep of Pierce College men’s volleyball.

Judah Brody, Staff Writer

LA Pierce College could not ace serves or match City College’s intensity as they suffered a quick sweep Wednesday at the Sports Pavillion. 

The Vaqueros dominated three consecutive sets at 25-18, 25-12 and 25-13.

“We’re very talented and Pierce has been struggling a little bit this year,” said head coach Jon Newton.

This is the team’s first home win in nearly a month and is the Vaqueros’ sixth-straight overall. It kept them undefeated in three conference games with a 6-2 overall record. They sit in first place spot in the Western State Conference, half a game above Long Beach who they’ll play at home next Friday.

Kyle Merchen finished with five ace serves and 20 assisted and aced the Bulls four times in a row in the second set. 

“Last week in practice we worked on serving aggressively, serving the seams and knowing who to pick on,” said Merchen.

They committed 12 errors, some as a result of trying overly difficult serves, but grabbed a season-high 15 aces regardless.

After Pierce blew multiple leads to end with 18 first-set points, Santa Barbara scored six unanswered early in the second set. On defense, the Vaqueros held Bull attackers to a game-low 12 points in the second set.

After realizing where the game was going, Newton swiftly subbed starting libero Kevin Ham out for Carson Schmick in the first set. 

“We’ve got a lot of depth, guys off the bench came in and did well,” said Newton. “[Our bench] is really good and could probably start on other teams.”

The duo at libero combined for nine digs and Keoni Thiim chipped in two and led his squad with six kills.

Aaron Letvin leads the state in aces per set (0.76) and Hetherington is No. 1 in blocks per set (1.19).

All of the Vaqueros’ next three games are at home, beginning with a non-conference match against San Diego Mesa at 4 p.m on Saturday, March 7.