#17 Women's Volleyball Solid In Sweep Over ELAC

Middle blocker Izabella Hernandez bats down an overpass kill during the Lancers win on Wednesday, photo by Michael Watkins.
Middle blocker Izabella Hernandez bats down an overpass kill during the Lancers win on Wednesday, photo by Michael Watkins.

Round 1 of the South Coast Conference schedule is complete as the Pasadena City College women's volleyball team made quick work of sweeping East Los Angeles, 25-14, 25-11, 25-21, Wednesday evening at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. The state's #17-ranked Lancers won in a little more than an hour to improve to 14-4 overall and 5-2 in conference.

PCC used a complete all-around effort that started with consistent performances from outside hitters Nalani Young with 11 kills (.333 on the attack) and eight digs and Erykah Wilson scoring 10 kills with four aces and seven digs. It was a banner night for middle blockers as Izabella Hernandez scored five kills and five blocks while Paulina Lopez nailed seven kills. The two combined to not make a single error in 19 attempts (12 kills). 

Setter Nikki Hernandez contributed 30 assists, a team-high nine digs and two aces. Defensive specialist Saku Yoshioka served four aces and had five digs while libero Grace Crawford made eight digs.

"We've been kind of searching to play more free in our most recent matches and couldn't find much consistency," said PCC head coach Mike Terrill. "Against East LA, we broke out of that shell. We really executed our game plan well and when we do that, you can see the players having fun while performing. Our middles were outstanding. We did well in all facets of the game. Young and Wilson have been consistent go-to hitters for us all season. We totaled 14 aces and that type of aggressive serving has been part of our success this year."

PCC's two conference losses were to SCC frontrunners in #12 El Camino and #15 Long Beach City, and the team had a choppy, 5-set win over host Cerritos, 25-16, 25-12, 24-26, 25-27, 15-8, on Oct. 11. In that match, the Lancers nearly let a 2-0 sets lead slip away but recovered with a strong fifth set to give them a 3-1 mark in 5-setters. Young totaled 14 kills with 23 digs while Wilson landed 17 kills plus four aces. Setter Madison Blohm played her best match of the season with 48 assists and served five of the squad's 18 aces. Opposite Kaitlyn Karsten contributed 12 kills and Yoshioka spun five aces and made 14 digs. 

At El Camino on Oct. 9, PCC lost to the SCC's perennial power in four sets, 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20. While the Lancers played well, especially in the fourth set when they hit .355 (14 kills), a combined 38 unforced errors allowed the host Warriors to pull away in several sets. Wilson had 14 kills and Young added nine kills and 13 digs. 

On Oct. 4 at LA Harbor, Pasadena scored a 4-set win over the Seahawks, 19-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-21. Yoshioka had a season-high 29 digs while Wilson powered 14 kills with five aces. Young reached a double-double on 10 kills and 11 digs. Maggie Harris scored eight kills and Janell Currier had nine kills, 15 digs and three aces. Blohm was steady in compiling 36 assists plus five kills on dump plays. 

"It will be an interesting second round of conference because now everyone has played each other," Terrill said. "We will see if opponents switch lineups and make adjustments against us. We are always working toward putting out a rotation that will give us our best chance to win."

On Friday, Oct. 18, PCC begins the second round of South Coast matches at Rio Hondo College in a 6 p.m. first serve. The conference season culminates with the first-ever, SCC Championship Tournament to be played at Long Beach City College Nov. 13, 15, and 19.