Last weekend the Lancers attended the 32nd San Diego Mesa Invitational where they finished 1-2. Although they went up against dominant teams from the Pacific Coast Conference, the Lancers kept a competitive momentum.
It was demonstrated in game one against Grossmont College on Friday, Sept. 8th. Though they lost the match in three sets (18-25, 20-25, 21-25), the team pushed for game point each time. Sophomore outside hitter Vanessa Lopez contributed to that pressure with nine kills while sophomore middle blocker Lania Potter added four solo blocks.
“We were a little shell shocked in the first set but then something switched and we just competed,” head coach Mike Terrill said. “We hit 20 in a couple sets against them and for me that showed we were right there for that one.”
Lancers were “awake and ready to go” as they headed into an early match the following morning against unranked Palomar College. Their control and ambitious energy led them to a four set victory (25-13, 26-24, 20-25, 25-19). Powerhouse redshirt freshman, Kendall Schmedes pounded 16 kills, not to mention returning sophomore and captain Emily Leung who totaled 36 assists.
“Mentally we were coming out aggressive and I think we responded well,” Leung said. “This is primarily a young team, their maturity level stepped up to the plate and that was good to see especially going forward into conference.”
Only a couple hours later the Lancers began their final match of the tournament which was new for some of the players. Because of that there were some tired bodies according to coach Terrill.
However, they continued to improve themselves and won the first set against Cypress, 25-18. As they pressed for a fourth set unfortunately they came up short, 22-25.
“Once teams recognize your defense you have to adjust to the new things they throw at you,” libero Sharon Ohlgisser said. “I hope this season is just as exhilarating and exciting as it was playing against really big teams in the tournament.”
It goes without saying, the Lancers showed a different type of intensity at the level they played against and was a lesson learned according to coach Terrill.
PCC continues their non-conference stretch as they host Mt. San Jacinto at 6 p.m. in the Hutto-Patterson Gym Thursday, Sept. 14.