Lancers’ postseason has been cut short after falling to No. 2 MiraCosta in three sets (16-25, 20-25, 16-25) during round one of the SoCal Regional Playoff last Tuesday.
The 15th seeded Lancers have seen this before when they faced the Spartans earlier in the season at the Pierce Kickoff Classic, only this time they were the underdogs.
Host MiraCosta is known to be an intense team and proved it when they led the first set 12-7. Unfortunately the Lancers couldn’t keep up with their quick attacks as they only put up nine more points, two on error.
“Early in the match the moment felt a little big for us, there were some plays that we routinely tend to make that we weren’t making, so when that happens some doubts start to creep in,” head coach Mike Terrill said.
However, the Lancers didn’t let those doubts sink in the second set. Outside hitter Vanessa Lopez went on a serving run, turned up a lead then suddenly tied the set 18-18. The Lancers forced MiraCosta to battle for match point but briefly adjusted, eventually taking the set 20-25.
“With volleyball sometimes [things] don’t go your way and in that one we were really in it, really focused,” libero Kelsey Sarreal said.
There was still some hope left in the third set and although the Lancers didn’t stop competing, No. 2 ranked MiraCosta was always one step ahead.
The Lancers finished strong as outside hitter Paige Clingaman decked 11 kills while Sarreal tallied 9 digs and Lopez served 3 aces.
“We just wanted to fight for our season to keep going and I think we definitely did that,” Clingaman said. “It means so much to me that we’re conference champs, we got to the second round of playoffs and I’m so proud.”
The 15th seeded team ended their season with a conference title, 18-10 overall season, and a hitting percentage of .643.