PCC Women's Volleyball Goes 1-1 in '23 Season-Opening Host Quad

Ashley Gilbert puts away a kill during PCC's season-opening win on Friday (photo by Richard Quinton).
Ashley Gilbert puts away a kill during PCC's season-opening win on Friday (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College women's volleyball team split its two matches at the Lancers' hosted PCC Quad #1 tourney on Friday, sweeping MiraCosta before losing in four sets to Cypress.

"We have really good depth this year and we showed some fight, coming back to win the second set against Cypress," said PCC head coach Mike Terrill, beginning his seventh season directing the Lancers. "The freshmen have shown big improvement in the two weeks coming into today's matches. We know we have the talent to be good, but we're going to need to show confidence, starting with the coaching staff and instilling that confidence to the players on the floor."

The Lancers return All-South Coast Conference First Team outside hitter Emma Yogan, the team's points leader last year with 362.5. Yogan led PCC in kills with 300, the fifth highest single-season total in Lancers history, and added 173 digs and 52 service aces. 

Other returners are starting middle blocker Ashley Gilbert (114 kills, team-high 58 blocks, 36 aces last season), libero Makayla Chiechi (second on the team in digs with 257), setter Lindsay Delgadillo (291 assists, 4.55 average per set), and middle blocker Reese Roper (83 kills, 47 blocks). Also returning is outside hitter Ashley Marrone (161 kills) and opposite Kyley Chang (147 kills, 57 blocks). The lettermen continue with defensive specialist/libero Karmen Turner and middle blocker Ariana Pedroza

The freshmen crop is paced by 6-foot-1 outside hitter/middle blocker Itzel Aguayo, a talent from Grand Terrace High. Outside hitter Chayse Hoon, a 2-time, All-Pacific League First Team selection from Arcadia High, and her prep teammate Kamea Vongfak, a setter, were part of the Lancers rotation on opening day. 

The team is rounded out by first-year college players in outside hitter Daniela Millot (Northview HS), 5-11 middle blocker Katie Carius (Monrovia), middle blocker Karsyn Gwinnup (Colusa High), 5-10 middle blocker Brianna Galvan (Pioneer), and setter/opposite Shaylee Ungos (from South Korea).

In the opening 25-18, 25-20, 25-12 victory, MiraCosta jumped out to 5-0 and 9-3 leads before the Lancers got over some early-match nerves. Roper scored back-to-back kills to break an 18-18 tie while Vongfak served an 8-0 Lancers run to close out the first set win. 

In set #2, the Spartans hung tough, trailing 9-8, but a 9-2 PCC spurt allowed the Lancers to pull away. Aces twirled by Yogan, Chiechi and Roper helped the Lancers late in the game to take a 5-point win. 

In the third set, Chiechi served on an 8-0 run including consecutive aces while Gilbert landed two kills for an 8-1 lead. Turner would serve the team's 10th ace for match point as the Lancers doubled MiraCosta's score in winning by 13.

"MiraCosta scored four aces during the start of the opening set and we had to regroup," Terrill said. "Once we got past that rough patch, I was extremely pleased with how we played. We served and passed well and hit extremely well."

Gilbert hit .500 with eight kills in just 16 attacks and Roper added eight kills (.320) and 12 digs as neither player made a single error. Chiechi recorded 12 digs and led the team with three aces. Yogan led the Lancers with nine kills plus 10 digs while Aguayo delivered six kills and two blocks. Delgadillo dished out 22 assists.

As a team, PCC hit .255. Last season, PCC's attack resulted in just three matches with a higher hitting percentage than the '23 opener. 

In the second match, Cypress' duo of Shayna Martinez (13 kills) and 6-2 middle blocker Zoe Ziegler (10 kills) helped the Chargers down PCC, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20. Yogan was strong for the Lancers, landing 12 kills (.360) with 12 digs while Aguayo scored eight kills (.313) with two block assists. Marrone came off the bench to tally six kills, seven digs and serve a match-high five aces. 

The highlight of this match was the Lancers battling back from a 22-19 deficit to score a set #2 win by two. Kills by Marrone and Aguayo and a big ace by Chiechi for the 24-23 lead led the rally. 

Terrill played 16 players in the match in getting his freshmen more playing time. Chiechi finished with  12 digs and two aces while Delgadillo recorded 26 assists. 

"Cypress was reading the game better than us while our mindset was sort of a roller coaster at times," the coach said. "Really, I was pleased with overall effort in both matches. Once we get our serving and passing to be more consistent it will translate into better outcomes."

The Lancers next host Ventura in a 6 p.m. non-conference match on Wednesday, Aug. 30. PCC begins South Coast Conference play on Sept. 13 when it hosts Los Angeles Harbor. 

PCC 2023 Schedule, click here