The men’s volleyball match between Pierce and Orange Coast colleges Wednesday night was a battle between two of the most powerful programs in the state.
And when the two powers got together, the predictable happened--a close match and a 3 3/4-hour, five-game marathon.
Pierce Coach Ken Stanley’s game plan was to put pressure on the Pirates’ outside hitters but it was Orange Coast that had too much pressure for defending state champion Pierce, taking a 15-4, 15-17, 15-12, 12-15, 15-13 South Coast Conference victory at Pierce.
After trailing, 7-0, in the final game, Pierce came back to force the game to its limit, but a kill by Scott Lindquist and a ball hit out of bounds by the Brahmas’ Trent Jackson gave Orange Coast the match.
“I felt like it could have went either way when we led, 12-10,” Stanley said of the last game. “A missed serve that went out of bounds seemed to give them a great lift and really killed us emotionally.”
Orange Coast (5-1) looked as if it would make quick work of the match, sailing through the first game. Pierce was flat and committed 10 hitting errors that made it easy for the Pirates.
The Brahmas fell behind, 6-0, in the second game before Orange Coast began its own streak of hitting errors. A kill by Rico Guimaraes of Pierce evened the score, 6-6, and gave the Brahmas momentum. Later, a net violation and another kill by Guimaraes gave Pierce the game.
Orange Coast controlled game three as middle blocker Kurt Dumm had two kills and two blocks.
Pierce (4-1) sent the match to the limit with a close victory in the fourth game. Guimaraes, who led Pierce with 37 kills in the match, added three in the fourth game. A dink by Mark Grondin finished off the Pirates to set up the final game.
Cal Lutheran 7, Mt. St. Mary’s 0--The Regals (2-1) dominated the nonconference match at Cal Lutheran, winning every match.
Joey Dooley, Merja Hellstein, Elizabeth Bosley, Heather Malugeon and Liz Eichele all recorded victories in singles play for Cal Lutheran (2-1).
In doubles, Hellstein and Malugeon, and Bosley and Eichele teamed for wins.
Antelope Valley 6 Pierce 3--Pierce starter Michelle Lehmkuhl was chased in the third inning as Antelope Valley (8-1) scored four times to erase a 1-0 Pierce lead.
Kristy Robbins was one for three with two runs batted in for Pierce (3-9).