Just before the third set of their match against LA Trade Tech College (LATTC) Wednesday night, the Lancers volleyball team stood in an 89 degree gym exchanging energetic congratulations and cheerful laughter, while the LATTC Beavers wandered quietly towards their water coolers as PCC claimed their eighth win of their last 9 games, 25-9, 25-17, 25-12.
The team had reason to be excited, having won the second set without using a single sophomore. The sophomores obliterated their competition 25-9 in the opening set and were given the rest of the night off because Wednesday’s game was the second of a back-to-back and was played in a gym with no air conditioning. Sophomore outside hitter Vanessa Lopez expressed support for how the freshmen closed out the match.
“I feel proud, I feel like my teammates stepped up and they played how PCC does,” Lopez said.
LATTC also started the second set with a new lineup which managed to give the home team a 6-3 lead early in the middle set. However, an ace by Izzy Hernandez—whose 5 kills tied with teammate Kendall Schmedes for the match high—tied the set at 10 all.
The set stayed close, but after a strong kill by freshman outside hitter Jada O’malley (match-high 8 digs) for the 14-13 point, the Lancers never looked back.
Even in an unusually hot gym, the Lancers simply had more energy than their opponents in the third set. The Beavers committed several errors while the Lancers retained their focus and execution. They did so with balance, as four PCC players—Lania Potter, Rachel Johnson, Schmedes, Hernandez—had kill percentages above .500.
“Our setters did a great job, our middles were getting swings, our left side [hitters] were doing well, our back row was taking care of business so it was great, a good team win,” said head coach Mike Terrill
The game was the third third in six days for the Lancers. Wednesday was their third consecutive day of volleyball activity and as of Friday the team had either practiced or played on five straight days.
“It goes back to a couple things, us working hard in the summer and previous practices with conditioning and things like that that helps a lot, we’re blessed to have AC in the gym,” said assistant coach Albert Ahedo.
PCC returns to conference play next Wednesday at 5 p.m. on the road against Rio Hondo.
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