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OCC men’s volleyball sweeps Long Beach, wins eighth state title

Orange Coast College celebrates after winning the 2022 California Community College Athletic Assn. state championship.
Orange Coast College celebrates after winning the 2022 California Community College Athletic Assn. state championship against Long Beach City College at El Camino College on Saturday.
(James Carbone)

The lay of the land in junior college men’s volleyball in the state still looks the same as it has for much of the past four decades.

In a matchup of perennial powerhouses, No. 2-seeded Orange Coast defeated top-seeded Long Beach 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 on Saturday night in the California Community College Athletic Assn. state final at El Camino College.

Orange Coast claimed its eighth title in 18 state finals appearances, denying Long Beach in its bid to become the first back-to-back champion since Irvine Valley accomplished the feat between 2007 and 2008.

Orange Coast's Will Anderson (9) spikes past Long Beach's Colby Prowse (7) in the CCCAA state final at El Camino College.
Orange Coast’s Will Anderson (9) spikes past Long Beach’s Colby Prowse (7) in the CCCAA state final at El Camino College on Saturday.
(James Carbone)

Will Anderson had 10 kills and four service aces for Orange Coast (20-1), which had split two meetings with Long Beach (18-3) in the regular season. The sides went to five sets in both prior matches. The schools have now combined to win 18 state championships since 1976, and nine since 2004.

“This is just a breath of fresh air,” said opposite DiAeris McRaven, a Long Beach State commit who had seven kills and three total blocks. “My coach, [Travis Turner], just said we didn’t win this game tonight. We won this game back in December, when we’re running sprints, when we can’t run anymore.

“All that hard work paid off, and I’m glad to just be getting this championship with this group of guys.”

The Orange Coast College men's volleyball team celebrates after winning the CCCAA state championship against Long Beach.
(James Carbone)

The Pirates prevented further drama in the final by going on runs late in sets. They claimed the last four points of Game 1, five in a row to end Game 2, and rallied from a 15-10 deficit in the third set.

Orange Coast squandered five match points, before McRaven put an end to the contest with a thunderous swing from the right pin. Then the celebration was on, with the Pirates jumping and shouting as a group on their side of the net.

As the only sophomore on the roster, Anderson said it was “a sad moment” to realize he had played his last point as a Pirate. The opposite from Tualatin (Ore.) shared what was said in the final timeout.

Orange Coast's Grayson Kling (4) sets up Zach Weston (6) for the kill against Long Beach in the CCCAA state final.
Orange Coast’s Grayson Kling (4) sets up Zach Weston (6) for the kill against Long Beach in the CCCAA state final on Saturday.
(James Carbone)

“Travis did the talking, and he just told us to keep swinging and one [point] was going to come,” Anderson said. “We’ve been a pretty good side-out team all year, so we knew that eventually we’ll get one. We just had to keep our composure.”

Outside hitter Cash Adamsen had nine kills and four digs for Orange Coast. Middle blocker Zach Weston added four kills on a team-best .500 hitting percentage, and middle blocker Jake Diddy contributed two blocks and two block assists. Josh Friedman had 15 assists, and Grayson Kling added 14 assists, five digs and three aces.

Turner, who has now won three state titles in 16 years as a coach, and two as a player, at Orange Coast, said blocking was a big reason his team polished off the match in straight sets. The Pirates had 10 total blocks, compared to just three for Long Beach.

Orange Coast's Sam Warren (12) and Jake Diddy (10) block a spike attempt by Long Beach's Julian Zavala (10).
(James Carbone)

“It’s really special,” said Turner, back on top with the Pirates again for the first time since 2017. “These guys grinded all year. They put up with some stuff that wasn’t easy — two years — but I think that’s what makes you stronger, and I think they kind of played like it mattered tonight, especially Will.”

Among those who saw the floor for Orange Coast on Saturday were outside hitter Sam Warren (Edison) and Friedman (Corona del Mar), a setter, both of whom played their high school volleyball locally.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” said Warren, who had three kills and a block assist. “Of all the teams that I’ve played on, this is by far my favorite team that I’ve been with. Making it this far, putting in the work, winning in three — nothing beats this.”

Opposite Colby Prowse and outside hitter Julian Zavala had eight kills apiece to pace Long Beach. Middle blocker Alfred Dougherty had seven kills, middle blocker Luke Bissell added six kills, and outside hitter Erik Hernandez chipped in with five kills. Sean Nguyen distributed 20 assists, and Joseph Rocha also contributed 12 assists for the Vikings.

“Really proud of the guys,” Long Beach coach Jonathan Charrette said. “… It’s hard to be that upset when I got to spend the past nine months with some great young kids. I’m hurting because they’re hurting right now, but I’m super happy that I got to go to war with these guys.”

Orange Coast's Cash Adamsen (2) takes a swing against Long Beach in the CCCAA men's volleyball final on Saturday.
(James Carbone)

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