The pressure of playing for all the marbles in a fifth set of a match is now just a way of life for the 2018 Pasadena City College women's volleyball team. The Lancers went the distance twice more on Friday in splitting matches against Citrus (win) and Antelope Valley (loss) at their PCC Quad #2 at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
The Lancers (3-6) have played three consecutive 5-set contests and four now in the last five matches.
Against Citrus, PCC rallied from a set down and won 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 15-7. In the victory, defensive specialist Pamela Galvan served two aces during a 7-point sideout as PCC opened an 8-0 lead and ran away with the decisive fifth game. Opposite Abby Martin tallied three of her match-high 16 kills ( hit .400). Galvan twirled eight of her team's 20 aces. Outside hitter Leslie Rivera added 14 kills (.333), 12 digs and six aces. Setter Nikki Hernandez added 28 assists and three aces while libero Emily Ramirez contributed 17 digs. Middle blocker Jada O'Mally had 11 kills and four blocks. Both OH Camille Ferguson and MB Danielle Johnson tacked on seven kills.
PCC attack was at its best in the fifth set when it hit .286 as a team (.197 for the entire contest).
The team had a short break and then played without one of its best players O'Mally (undisclosed injury) against AVC in what became an epic match that took 2 hours, 23 minutes to complete. Three of the sets (one, three and five) went into extra points with the finale going five extras. The Marauders outlasted PCC, 28-26, 25-22, 24-26, 16-25, 20-18.
The Lancers rallied from two sets down and were down 6-1 and 16-12 in the third set. At 24-24, AVC had a service error and Galvan powered an ace to win set 3. In the fourth set, AVC opened a 5-1 lead, but again Pasadena fought back and used a 7-1 run to even the match at 2-2. In an exciting fifth set, the Lancers led 8-5 and played for match point four times only to see AVC tie it each time. Martin served an ace for an 18-17 lead, but the Marauders grabbed the road win on a service error, a Breeanna Wright kill and a Lancers attack error that ended it.
PCC head coach Mike Terrill said, "Our young women played so hard today. I haven't been around a team that has been able to play 10 sets in a row without a drop in effort level like this group. We have played five sets in four of our last five matches (2-2 record) and we've learned valuable lessons in how to execute under pressure. You have to credit AVC for staying aggressive in the fifth set and testing us. It was a fun match to be a part of, and I know our team will focus on making small improvements and keep our fighting spirit as we head into next week."
Rivera totaled a double-double on 21 kills and 16 digs while Galvan served five aces (13 on the day). Martin scored nine kills while OH Janell Currier contributed six kills and 14 digs. Middle blocker Rachel Johnson added five kills and five blocks while middle blocker Audrey Altamirano took advantage of the most playing time she's had this year with two kills and four blocks. Three different PCC setters reached double digits in assists, led by Hernandez with 17, then Tehya Topalian with 11 and Heather Collado with 10. Ramirez scored five aces and played stellar defense, especially in the fifth set, with 16 digs.
Pasadena returns to the floor on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in a 4 p.m. match at state No. 8-ranked Grossmont.