Kari Post debuted as the new head coach of Pasadena City College women’s volleyball team in a thrilling victory over Mt. San Jacinto College on Wednesday.
The Lancers outlasted Mt. San Jacinto in a two hour, five-set distance game, keeping the cheerful crowd at the edge of their seats at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
Both teams executed an outstanding defense that kept the score very tight throughout the game and caused long, nerve-racking rallies. PCC still managed to beat MSJC, 25-17, 23-25, 25-20 and 15-11.
“We definitely know what we need to work on, but I think as a whole we pulled it out,” Post said. “We didn’t have to pull it out, and we did, and so I’m really glad that they are getting that competitive energy all the way through the match.”
The Lancers began the first set at a high energy level. Among the players who stood out the most was freshman opposite Rayleen Rivera, who tallied 8 kills, 13 digs and two aces.
“I think we went out with the energy, there was a few ups and downs but we came out with the win so it ended well,” Rivera said. “It’s a totally different group of girls you know, we click, we have fun with each other and we enjoy each other’s company, and that is what you need as a team that bond, that connection, to pull it out at the end. This game, it went longer than we thought but we pulled it out because we are a family and that’s how it’s done.”
After winning the first and third set, the Lancers seemed to have the win by maintaining the lead for the majority of the fourth set, going up 20-10. But the game took an unexpected turn when MSJC managed to tie the set 21-21 and later won the set 23-25.
“I think it was just being complacent in where we were, we thought we had won it and you can’t take any team lightly,” Post said. “There is no winning it until the final score is done.”
Another player who significantly contributed to the team’s successful game was sophomore middle blocker Kendra Logan. After missing the 2014 season, Logan made a striking come back by scoring a total of 10 points with 9 kills and one dig. However, her powerful performance was not a surprise. In 2013, Logan led the conference in block kills, averaged 0.93 per set (81 overall) and added 101 attack kills.
With a player like Logan coming back this season, PCC certainly has high hopes for this year’s team. When asked how it feels to be back, Logan said, “Pretty invigorating, also very rewarding … so I’m pretty proud of myself as well as our team because like six weeks ago we were not this good, like at all.”
Post has high expectations for this year’s team.
“I think that I’m very excited to see where this goes, the girls have already improved so much over the last 10 weeks of practice, and I think that we are just going to become better and better as we trust each other more also as we just get more comfortable in the court,” she said.
Post also said she is running things differently to make sure the girls are well prepared for this season.
“We’ve done some more conditioning which isn’t normal for this program,” she said. “We’ve also done a lot more game film and just making sure that they’ve actually seen themselves play, which is huge at this level and we’re running a totally different offense than we did before.”
The Lancers are now off to face Citrus College on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and Ventura College on Sept. 16. Both games will be hosted at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium at 6 p.m.