Don't let its 3-5 overall record describe the direction of the Pasadena City College women's volleyball team. The Lancers are far better from their current under .500 mark and helped themselves despite a 1-2 showing at the 32nd San Diego Mesa Invitational on Sept. 8-9.
PCC was atop the state "Best of the Rest," just missing out on a spot in the first 2017 State Top 25 rankings released on Monday. No one from the 5-team, South Coast Conference North Division made the top 25, including defending conference champ Mt. San Antonio (currently 1-5).
The Lancers though find themselves in a good spot after a 4-set victory over unranked Palomar (25-15, 26-24, 20-25, 25-19) sandwiched between a loss to No. 6-ranked and Mesa Invite champ Grossmont and a 4-set defeat against No. 13 Cypress. All of PCC's losses this season have occurred against teams ranked currently in the top 22 in the state. Palomar sent Mt. SAC to a 3-set loss at the tourney, potentially showing that the Lancers are the frontrunners in the SCC North title race.
Redshirt outside hitter Kendall Schmedes led the way against the Comets as she pounded 16 kills with nine digs, four blocks, and three aces. Letterman OH Paige Clingaman added 11 kills and two blocks while sophomore middle blocker Lania Potter contributed eight kills (in just 12 attempts) and four blocks. Frosh libero Grace Crawford had 17 digs and three aces and steady second-year setter Emily Leung chipped in 36 assists and served three of the team's season-high 16 aces. Freshman Jada O'Mally totaled five blocks and fired four aces and Brianna Baldwin had five blocks.
"We showed some grit this weekend against Grossmont, Palomar and Cypress, whom are all experienced and well-coached programs," said PCC head coach Mike Terrill. "Although it wasn't enough, we have an opporturnity to reflect on changes we must make individually to become the strongest team we can be."
In the Grossmont loss (25-18, 25-20, 25-21), PCC relied on sophomore OH Vanessa Lopez, who scored nine kills, and Potter, who had four solo blocks. Schmedes tallied six kills and eight digs.
Against Cypress, the Lancers fell, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-22. Schmedes picked up a double-double on 15 kills and 11 digs and Crawford was a defensive stalwart with 24 digs. Potter had five kills and five blocks (four solo) and Clingaman scored eight kills. Pamela Galvan made 11 digs.
PCC will play its first home match of the '17 season on Thursday, Sept. 14 in a 6 p.m. contest against Mt. San Jacinto College.