The Pasadena City College women's volleyball team accomplished mission No. 1 of 2 in its quest for the South Coast Conference North Division title Wednesday night. Despite trailing by a set, the Lancers came back to take the next three sets and beat host Mt. San Antonio College, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-16. PCC is in sole possession of first place at 3-0 and extended its winning streak to five in a row.
The Lancers (10-8 overall) can look to set 2 as the turning point as they went to extras and got the upper hand with a Mounties' attack error that sealed the 2-point set win and tied the match. In set 3, the teams were tied at 20-20 before PCC went on a mini 5-2 run capped by a Paige Clingaman corner kill for a 2-1 games lead. In the fourth, it was all Pasadena as it led 10-5, then 16-9, and 20-13. Back-to-back aces by Emily Ramirez made it 23-15. Rachel Johnson slammed a kill for match point for a decisive 9-point, fourth set triumph.
The sophomore outside hitter Clingaman knocked down a team-high 13 kills (27 attempts, hit .370) and Johnson, a freshman middle blocker, added eight kills (hit .389) and three blocks. The team defense was solid with five players reaching double digit in digs, led by libero Kelsey Sarreal with 27. Vanessa Lopez gave the squad a boost with eight kills, 10 digs, and three blocks. Grace Crawford collected 14 digs. Setter Emily Leung totaled 31 assists with 11 digs. Kendall Schmedes picked up five kills and 11 digs.
Mt. SAC (8-11, 2-1 in SCC North play) was paced by Jordon Wilson with 17 kills. PCC was aided by the Mounties' 33 miscues although it balanced out as the Lancers also had more than 30 mistakes, including 16 serving errors.
The Lancers snapped a losing slump v. Mt. SAC of seven matches dating back to 2013, including a playoff sweep at the Walnut campus in 2015. It was the first win at Mt. SAC since 2012.
Pasadena has a long way to go but is certainly marking Nov. 8 down as maybe the home match of the season. If the Lancers hold court against other divisonal foes Chaffey, Rio Hondo, and East Los Angeles, they could clinch the conference title and an automatic bid into the Southern California Regional Playoffs by beating Mt. SAC that evening. The Mounties also would have to win their other divisional games to set up that possible matchup.
On Friday, the Coach Mike Terrill's Lancers shoot for their sixth straight win when they travel to face Chaffey College for a 6 p.m. match.