Women's Volleyball Holds Serve Over Ventura, Wins in 4

Sabiya Esquivel, in action last week, was a key player in PCC's win over Ventura on Wednesday (photo by Michael Watkins).
Sabiya Esquivel, in action last week, was a key player in PCC's win over Ventura on Wednesday (photo by Michael Watkins).

The Pasadena City College women's volleyball team used a mighty serving presence that resulted in 15 aces and withstood a late push by its opponent in defeating Ventura, 25-15, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, in a key Southern California matchup at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Wednesday evening.

PCC remains undefeated at 3-0 while Ventura, a second-place finisher at the 8-team, LA Mission Kickoff Classic, fell to 3-2. 

In the opening set, Leena Albelo served five consecutive aces after Nalani Young earlier landed three serves for points as PCC controlled the first set. In the second set, Camila Sanchez-Tellez stepped up with five kills and the Lancers led 19-12, but despite a Pirates rally, they held on for a 2-point win. Ventura made adjustments and were led by Nevada Knowles totaling five kills, eight set assists and four digs to comeback and win the third set.

In the final set, Ventura led 6-1 and 11-7, but PCC found a spark in the middle of the set. Trailing 14-13, sophomore middle blocker Paulina Lopez moved over to opposite and ripped two straight kills that caused the PCC on-court players and bench to erupt in appreciation. A weapon earlier in the match returned in the serve as setter Nayeli SalasOrtiz twirled back-to-back aces and PCC led 20-16.

The Pirates wouldn't quit, saving two match points before Sanchez-Tellez hammered the winning point to close out a hard-fought victory.

SalasOrtiz had a big match for PCC with 34 assists, 12 digs, three kills and two blocks.

Sabiya Esquivel was steady with a .256 hitting percentage as she totaled 13 kills and 12 digs. Sanchez-Tellez added 13 kills and five blocks, Lopez made six kills and five blocks, and Monet Latunde scored six kills and four blocks. Defensively, Saku Yoshioka contributed 15 digs, Young had 11 digs and Kei'ana Pascua came off the bench for eight digs. Albelo chipped in her match-high six aces.

For Ventura, Knowles was a show in herself with a triple-double on 18 kills, 14 assists and 14 digs. 

"Our serve and block was good early on, and they we got away from our game plan in the last half of the match," Terrill said. "We used a slightly different lineup that worked better in the fourth. Sabiya stepped up at pin on a night we didn't have our best hitting. I think in the end, we relied on our serve and receive and that was a deciding factor. Every time we play Ventura, it doesn't matter who gets out in front early because the other team is going to make it a tough match."

Coach Mike Terrill's Lancers will play another key non-conference match on Friday, Sept. 3 with a 12 noon first serve at Moorpark College. The Raiders had won the LA Mission tourney, but were upset by PCC's fellow South Coast Conference member Mt. San Antonio in a sweep on Wednesday. Moorpark is now 4-1.  


Bia Siliva, a freshman setter, earned CCCWVCA State Player of the Week honors from the SoCal Region after her performance at the season-opening PCC Quad Tournament.

Silva showed off her array of skills in victories over MiraCosta and Cypress last week.

The Loma Linda Academy grad totaled 18 kills, 22 assists, 20 digs, 6 aces and 2 blocks. She hit a flawless .529 in the MC win (9 kills in 17 attempts).

CCCWVCA Award Link