After lancing the Roadrunners at home on Wednesday, the Lancers poached the Panthers on their own court Friday to win their second consecutive South Coast Conference (SCC) North Division championship lead by head coach Mike Terrill, who holds two conference titles in just three seasons.

Aaron Tan / Courier
Tehya Topalian (4) hits the ball back at the Pasdaena City College gym against Rio Hondo College on November 7, 2018. Pasadena won 3 to 0.

Women’s Volleyball is the only sports team at Pasadena City College (PCC) to advance to the playoffs this season.

“I think that’s pretty cool,” said assistant coach Henry Lee. “The girls have worked pretty hard all season, including pre-season.”

After a second crushing triumph against Rio Hondo, this time in Wednesday’s three set match played on PCC’s home court, the Lancers maintained their first place position in the SCC North Division with only one match remaining in the season.

PCC overpowered Rio Hondo (25-11, 25-20, 25-17), dominating the first game and refusing to relinquish the lead throughout the following two. With a kill percentage of .176, the Lancers defense was ruthless, keeping the Roadrunners on their toes each and every set. Freshman outside hitter Leslie Rivera had 23 total attacks with freshman opposite/middle blocker Abby Martin, who scored the first point and block of the match, right behind her with 21 total attacks.

The Lancers struggled in the beginning of game two with a couple of serves hitting the net, but were able to regain momentum following the second timeout. Outside hitter Janell Currier had 7 kills, the most of any other player on either team, and had such tremendous force behind her spikes that she hit the libero player on the Roadrunners team in the face twice.

With some unsuccessful serves, missed dives, and at times tangled grouping, Rio Hondo never gave up and continued to play their hardest throughout the match no matter the score.

“I mean they’re a very scrappy team, we knew that going into it,” sophomore outside hitter Camille Ferguson said. “They give long rallies and it’s really tiring, but I mean they’re a great team.”

Sophomore setter Tehya Topalian was flawless in setting up Rivera and Ferguson for two impressive kills each during game three. Rio Hondo ended the match with a serve that was deemed “out”, securing PCC’s success.

“We had good execution, we’ve been trying to prepare defensively the whole week,” said assistant coach Angel Ramirez. “[Rio Hondo] came out with a lot of fire the second set and we just slowed them down and they couldn’t recover from that.”

For the fourth successful year, the Lancers are back in the postseason. The Lancer’s final conference match with Chaffey on Friday was a nerve wrecking and suspenseful match with PCC on top for all three sets (25-23, 25-21, 27-25).

Currier was on fire taking no prisoners in Friday’s match scoring the highest number of total attacks, 30, and the highest number of kills, 11, throughout the game. Following suite Rivera contributed 27 total attacks, 5 kills, and 16 digs while Martin, completing the power of three, had 22 total attacks and 10 kills. With a kill percentage of .219, the Lancers claimed the victory they had been practicing for all season long.

Michael Watkins/ Courier
Danielle Johnson (10) of Pasadena City College spikes the ball past Nicole Vasquez of Rio Hondo during the Lancers 3-0 sweep over Rio Hondo at home on Wednesday, November, 7, 2018.

“It’s an amazing achievement,” said Ramirez. “We’ve got to embrace achievements like that…it’s a great accomplishment for a small school like this.”

“This is the symphony that can happen when everyone just plays their part correctly,” Lee added. “We came in with a plan and the team did a really good job sticking to it.”

The Southern California (SoCal) Regional Playoffs, Play-In Round will be the Lancers next match scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The location of this event will be announced later in the week.

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