The Lancers executed their first away game Saturday morning against the Santa Barbara Vaqueros 3-2, but fell short in the second game against the Bakersfield Renegades later that afternoon 0-3.
The first match against the Vaqueros was neck and neck throughout the five set game with scores of 25-18, 17-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-11. A key part in their victory was outside hitter Leslie Rivera, who was named the Inaugural State Athlete of the week by the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association .
Rivera had 23 kills, 51 total attacks, and 17 digs during the game, ending the game with the highest kill percentage for the Lancers at .392. Middle Blocker, Danielle Johnson, assisted in securing the win with 26 total attacks and Defensive Specialist, Pamela Galvan, took no prisoners with her 16 digs.
“It was a hot, cold match, we got a good result, we won in five different sets, so we were tested,” said head coach Mike Terrill about the first game. “Something we’ve been working on as a group is making adjustments…and it ended up working for us.”
Assistant coach Angel Ramirez agreed, “I think our win against Santa Barbara took a lot of strategy in match in order for us to try to win.”
The Lancers, however, met their match in game two at the Santa Barbara Community College Quad. The Renegades had their top setter with them and defeat came in three sets 25-18, 25-20, 25-15.
It was an even playing field as both teams had each already completed five set matches before playing each other, but according to Terrill, “Bakersfield was just the better team than we were on Saturday.”
Sophomore hitter Tehya Topalian, played both games Saturday, this being her first time back on the court since recovering from a concussion that occurred during one of the team’s practices.
“It took a while the recovery, but it was super exciting because like the adrenaline started to kick in, so like everything, just from all the years of playing volleyball went up to that one moment.”
Topalian ended the first game against Santa Barbara with 5 spikes, 3 attacks and 7 digs. For the second game against Bakersfield, Topalian contributed 3 spikes and 12 attacks.
“I mean we definitely fought, but it was just so hard,” Topalian stated. “It was the setter on the other side just dumping balls left and right, and we couldn’t pick it up. But as a team collectively, it felt like we accomplished what we needed to in that tournament.”
Terrill added, “[The Renegades] setter did a great job running their offense, she was also a scoring threat for them. Normally setters take the second contact in between one and three, but she was attacking on that second contact and we tried to adjust but we weren’t able to execute it.”
The second game included contributions from the entire rooster, including ten returning players and eight freshmen. For the most part the Lancers seem to be doing better away than at home. As long as they keep adjusting, they will eventually find what works best for them.
“Against Bakersfield we just got a good experience at playing a high level team.” Stated Ramirez.
The Lancers next game is against the Ventura County Pirates on Wednesday September 12, at 6pm in the Hutto-Patterson Gym.