Volleyball: Cerritos extends #15 Pasadena City to five games

Gladys Garcia posted seven kills for the Falcons
Gladys Garcia posted seven kills for the Falcons

After a slow first two sets on Friday, the Cerritos College volleyball team started to turn things around and went on to extend #15-ranked Pasadena City College to five sets in their South Coast Conference match. With the first two sets (16-25, 12-25) behind them, the Falcons (1-12, 1-5) made a few alignment adjustments, which turned things around and earned them 26-24, 27-25 wins in the next two sets to extend the match to a fifth set. Possibly wearing down after the comeback, Cerritos saw the Lancers (13-4, 4-2) earn a 15-8 win in the final set.

The teams were tied nine times in the third set, while the Falcons trailed, 20-18. They received a service error point, followed by a service ace from Marissa Reyna (Norwalk HS) to tie the set at 20-20. The Lancers did score the next two points and looked to close out the match in straight sets. But Cerritos got a kill from Reyna, while a pair of PCC attack errors put them in front, 23-22. Mirka Granoble (Downey HS) followed with a service ace for a 24-22 advantage, but the Lancers knotted the set at 24-24 after a kill from Nalani Young and an ace from Madison Blom. The Falcons got a point back on a Blohm service error, while an attack error secured the third set.

Cerritos led by as much as 15-12 in the fourth set until Pasadena City scored the next five points before a pair of Alexia Torres (Downey HS) kills tied the set at 17-17. Three more Lancers points in a row were countered by a pair of attack errors before Jackie Dixon (Gahr HS) and Granoble shared a block to tie the set at 20-20. The Falcons then received consecutive kills from Sierra Hernandez-Hardy (Bishop Amat HS) for a 22-20 advantage, and after a service error from the Lancers Erykah Wilson, it was a 24-24 tie. A kill from Pasadena City's Paulina Lopez put them one point away from the match, until Granoble caught them off guard with a kill from the setter. An attack error was followed by a Torres kill to send the match to a fifth set.

The Falcons struggled with their serve reception at times during the match and it showed in the fifth set, as the Lancers posted three of their first five points via aces and finished with 18 on the night. After Cerritos fell behind, 8-3, they could only get as close as four points, as the Lancers scored multiple points in a row compared to single points for the Falcons.

Pasadena City was led by the three-pronged attack of Wilson (17 kills), Young (14 kills) and Kaitlyn Karsten (12 kills), who accounted for 43 of their 56 kills in the match. Torres led the Falcons with 13 kills, while Gladys Garcia (Elizabeth Learning Center HS) recorded seven kills and Granoble added five kills to go along with her 25 assists. Dixon led the back row with 12 digs, while Reyna finished with 10 in the match.

Photos by Daryl Peterson