Great Start Fizzles As Moorpark Downs Volleyball in 4

Lancer Abby Martin hits off the hand of a Moorpark blocker in PCC's 4-set loss Wednesday night at the H-P Gym, photo by Richard Quinton.
Lancer Abby Martin hits off the hand of a Moorpark blocker in PCC's 4-set loss Wednesday night at the H-P Gym, photo by Richard Quinton.

The Pasadena City College women's volleyball team seemed poised as it held steady and played point-for-point in a 25-23 opening set win over visiting Moorpark, a program that was ranked No. 17 in the state last season. But the Raiders large and experienced returning sophomore group grabbed complete control with a 9-0 run early in set 2 and went on to send the Lancers to a 4-set defeat at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Wednesday night.

Moorpark (2-2) limited PCC to just 43 points in those final three sets, recording a 23-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-12 triumph. Pasadena hit .353 in the first set, including six kills by letterman middle blocker Rachel Johnson and five from freshman outsside hitter Leslie Rivera, who recently was named State SoCal Athlete of the Week #1. Rivera's kill capped the set victory. 

PCC went on to hit just .136 overall, making 23 attack errors (17 in the last three sets). Rivera led PCC with her fourth straight double-double on 13 kills and 12 digs. Freshman opposite Abby Martin added 11 kills and two blocks while Johnson totaled eight kills (hit .368). First-year setter Nikki Hernandez made 33 assists and had 10 digs. Sophomore libero Pamela Galvan contributed 15 digs.

For Moorpark, Miranda Poole was a force with 15 kills, 11 digs and four aces. Lexie Wolf added 14 kills and the Lancers couldn't finish off attacks due to the defensive play of Raiders' libero Danel Schilder, who totaled 23 digs. 

"We executed our game plan offensively and from the service line in the first set well," said PCC head coach Mike Terrill. "Moorpark is a tough and well-coached team and they answered back by being very aggressive serving. Their passing also improved so much in the final three sets. We showed resilience in the fourth set which is a good sign for future matches against a tough lineup of opponents still ahead. We have confidence in our ability to bounce back and battle every day."

The Lancers have lost three straight matches (all at home), but against teams that were all among last year's state top 20. Even PCC's only win was against last season's No. 19 Saddleback. The first CCCWVCA State Top 25 rankings come out next week. 

The team's strength of schedule continues to potentially build with two more top 20 opponents this Saturday, Sept. 8 when the Lancers travel to play in a quad tourney at Santa Barbara City College (No. 16). PCC faces the host Vaqueros at 11 a.m. and then battle Bakersfield (No. 15 last year) at 3 p.m.