Aaron Tan / Courier Rachel Johnson (16) spikes the ball set up by Nikki Hernandez (5) in the Pasadena City College's gym on September 5, 2018. This was a 1-3 loss for Pasadena City College against Moorpark.
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The Lancers looked promising Wednesday night, taking the first set of the night but let the next three slip from their grasp handing the Moorpark Raiders yet another win. In theme with the rest of this season, the team fell to 1-3 did not take home the victory.

After going point for point in the first set scoring 25-23, the Lancers seemed to lose steam over time in the four set game 25-23,14-25,17-25,12-25. The Raiders started the second set with a 9-0 lead and it was over from there.

“We’ve been the more assertive team from the service line in our previous three matches and I think tonight we weren’t that team,” said head coach Mike Terrill. “[The Raiders] became way more aggressive, serving and started passing better and we started passing worse and serving a little more tentatively.”

With 13 kills from outside hitter Leslie Rivera and 11 from middle blocker Abbey Martin, the Lancers did not just roll over and hand the win to the Raiders. The 15 digs from defensive specialist Pamela Galvan also made it more difficult for the experienced Raiders that are mostly made up of sophomores.

The Lancers, which consist of 10 returning players and 8 freshmen, fought until the very last second. In the last few minutes of the fourth set, the team seemed as if they were going to close the gap and take over the set but the 8 points they scored were not enough to come back and beat the Raiders.

“We’re going to prepare our mentality and energy first of all because we kind of lacked a little bit of energy,” said Rivera. “I know that everybody is learning from this experience and is going to come back even harder for next time.”

Terrill, who was named the SCC North Division coach of the year after winning the South Coast Championship last year, was not worried about new players to the team possibly being the cause of this season’s unfortunate start. Since the turnover is so high in community college, it is very common for a team to lose half of it’s players at the end of a season.

“That’s the nature of the community college system, we turnover about half our team every year.” said Terril. “We’ve got a really good group, a cohesive group, that has the ability to play at a really high level.”

The 9 service errors throughout the game only made it easier for the Raiders to take home their second victory of the season. The 23 attack errors made by the team also contributed to their eventual loss.

“We’re going to try and prepare better to get out of our heads so once we make a mistake just move on to the next one and get it right back,” said Martin.

The team made several plays to Moorpark’s Danel Scheilder where she dove for the ball but failed to return it, helping the Lancers bring up their score in the third set. Martin’s powerful spikes made it nearly impossible for the Raiders to return the ball whenever it was in her hands.

“Even if we don’t win, we get to work on how we play and we get to see some of the teams that hopefully are going to be top contenders in the state playoffs,” said Terrill. “We have something to learn from every match.”

Last week Leslie Rivera was named the Inaugural California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association State Athlete of the Week. Rivera received the award in her first week playing at the college level.

“It was definitely a surprise,” said Rivera. “I didn’t even know about it until my friend showed it to me. It was an honor because I wasn’t expecting it.”

Rivera has been a stand out player since her years at Gabrielino High School but did not play last year because she was a player on the Pasadena Star News All-Star Second Team in her senior prep season.

“It’s the first time ever our coaches association is recognizing athletes of the week,” said Terrill. “She deserves it but it’s also a sign of the strength of our team.”

The Lancers play again against the Ventura County Pirates on Wednesday Sept 12 at 6pm in the Hutto-Patterson Gym.

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