On Friday night the Dodgers opened their 2017 playoffs, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team played a world cup qualifier, and PCC prevailed in a volleyball match that (by final score) was more closely contested than either of those games, beating East Los Angeles Community College (ELAC) in 5 sets (25-13, 22-25, 25-16, 24-26, 15-4).
Friday’s victory gave PCC their first winning record on the year (9-8), after they opened the season with straight losses to three state-ranked teams. However, the Lancers are undefeated (2-0) in SCC North Conference, good enough for solitary possession of 1st place in the conference. Their current 4-game win streak is their longest of the season, and is driven by key contributions from various players.
“I just want to place heavy emphasis on just feeling like a family,” Lania Potter, outside hitter, said. Just knowing that I’m playing alongside my sisters and no matter what happens win or lose . . . It’s just about that togetherness.”
Potter, Paige Clingaman, and Camille Ferguson scored at least 11 kills compared to only one such player, ELAC’s Icel Quintero . Despite such balanced execution, Potter still lead both teams in kills (12), hitting percentage (.500), blocks (6) and points (15.5). She doesn’t know that, however, because she doesn’t keep track of her stats.
“It’s not about me and what I can do it’s about my team and how I can help.” Potter said.
Potter combined with Ferguson (freshman outside hitter) to dominate the third set after the teams split the previous two. By the 10-5 point, the two had combined for a block, each scored at least one kill and Ferguson led the team with her .333 hitting percentage. She then combined for another block with Rachel Johnson for the 18-8 point which prompted complaints from ELAC head coach, Elliott Walker, that Ferguson was touching the net.
“On the way up, that’s the third time, that’s the third time!” Walker shouted to the head referee.
As PCC assistant coach Albert Ahedo loudly complemented Ferguson’s play (she was not touching the net), Walker earned a yellow card for his game-stalling outburst. However, Ferguson scored the 22-12 point on a strong cross court kill helping PCC win the set, 25-16.“For me I work better under pressure and when I’m mad. With them, they’re a really scrappy team and so it makes us work even harder, it was a good thing because it makes us focus harder,” said Ferguson.
ELAC persevered as well, jumping out to a 2-9 lead in fourth. Freshman libero Grace Crawford came into the game for PCC and scored 2 points, part of a 9-1 Lancer run where PCC claimed their first lead of the set at 11-10.
“I know Walker, the ELAC coach, he does a really good job of mixing things up from set to set in terms of system, how they’re attacking, how they’re playing defense and it just kind of went back and forth,” said Ahedo.
Walker coached Ahedo on his high-school club team.
With an animated Walker on the sidelines, ELAC fought back to take a 14-18 lead but Ferguson’s kill and an incredible solo block by Potter tied the set again at 20-20.
Previously, unsuccessful aiming through the block, Clingaman jumped for a ball on the left sideline and slammed a cross-court kill back inside the extended arms of the middle blocker for a 23-22 lead. ELAC however, would fight off a match point and win the set 24-26 on a PCC error.
If PCC plays best angry, they were the most upset in the fifth. The set started on a run that never ended, then the Lancers ran away with the match.
The win means that PCC’s next match against top-rival Mt. San Antonio College, will be played with first place conference standings on the line. The match is set for Wednesday, Oct. 11th at 6pm.