Mid-Match Letdown Sends #8 Volleyball To 5-Set Upset Loss v. #21 Mt. SAC

Emily Licon makes the dig during PCC's loss v. Mt. SAC on Wednesday (photo by Michael Watkins).
Emily Licon makes the dig during PCC's loss v. Mt. SAC on Wednesday (photo by Michael Watkins).

For two sets on Wednesday night, the Pasadena City College women's volleyball team showed why it had reached the #8 ranking in this week's State Top 25. But by the time #21 Mt. San Antonio completed an improbable comeback, defeating the Lancers in five sets, PCC realized it could not rest on its laurels.

PCC fell to its South Coast Conference rival Mt. SAC, 22-25, 15-25, 25-12, 25-16, 15-11. Pasadena (10-4 overall, 1-2 in SCC play) was outscored badly 65-39 in the last three sets despite holding leads of 3-0 and 8-7 in the final set. 

"Tonight was a tale of two matches," said PCC head coach Mike Terrill. "I just didn't have our team prepared to get the job done. We excecuted and competed so well in the first two sets, playing some of our best volleyball of the season. In the third and fourth sets, Mt. SAC flipped its mentality and became the aggressor. In our sport, resilience is key. We will respond from this tough defeat."

Mt. SAC (10-3, 3-0 in SCC action) relied on outside hitter Riley DeGroot as her powerful swing produced 16 kills while middle blocker Leia Campbell was a force at the net on seven kills and seven blocks. 

Leading the Lancers was opposite Kyley Chang, who had 13 kills (hit .300), and setter Bia Silva, who totaled eight kills, 10 digs, 32 set assists, three aces and three blocks. Emma Yogan added 14 kills, eight digs, two aces and three blocks.

In the first set, PCC trailed 21-20, but a 4-0 run with Silva recording a block and a kill and then an Ashley Gilbert kill off a dish by Silva finished off a set victory. Emily Licon, who contributed 14 digs, tallied back-to-back aces during a big serving run in the second set that allowed the Lancers to take a 10-4 lead. A 7-1 run increased the advantage to 18-10 and a Yogan kill closed out a 10-point set #2 win. 

Pasadena's run of good fortunes in 5-set matches stopped v. the Mounties as PCC is 3-1 now in contests that reach the distance. In its recent history, PCC has played a school-record 14 matches that have gone five sets v. Mt. SAC, holding a 9-5 edge.

The Lancers won't be in action again until Friday, Oct. 7 in a 6 p.m. SCC match v. visiting Cerritos College.