The Pasadena City College women's volleyball team understands that every South Coast Conference North Division match is a must-win if it hopes to qualify for the SoCal Regional Playoffs. And with that sense of urgency in their play, the Lancers are on a hot streak.
PCC rallied from a 2-0 deficit, including a marathon opening set loss, and downed Chaffey College, 34-36, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-9, Friday night at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. After an 0-1 conference start, the Lancers (8-9 overall) not only have won three straight for the first time this season, but moved into first place in the North Division race at 3-1.
In the opening game, the highest-scoring set in the state this season, the teams were tied 20 different times. The Lancers trailed 10-4 and 15-9, but managed to take the lead at set point, 24-23. PCC brought it to set point three times while saving set points six times before the Panthers won the game on a block by Kendall Mency.
Chaffey (11-6, 1-2) won the second set and looked to sweep the Lancers. In the third, the Panthers took a 6-2 lead and held a 19-17 advantage. PCC battled back with a 7-1 run capped on an ace by Danielle Johnson. Chaffey fought off three set points, but Leslie Rivera nailed a kill to give the Lancers the third game victory.
In set 4, PCC kept the momentum, led 12-6 and ran away with a 6-point triumph on a set-point block by Johnson. Then for the seventh time this season, the Lancers embarked on a fifth set. The team's experience in the long matches paid off. Pamela Galvan landed an ace for a 5-1 PCC lead. Chaffey made six unforced errors, including one an attack that gave PCC match point. Pasadena is 4-3 in matches decided in five sets, inlcuding five that were played at the HP Gym.
Galvan, a sophomore, had her best defensive match of the season with a team season-high 32 digs. Johnson, a medical redshirt freshman, was a force in the middle, scoring six kills, six blocks, while serving a team-high four aces. Rivera led the offense with 13 kills, five assists and added 14 digs. Abby Martin added 12 kills, three blocks and two aces. Setter Tehya Topalian contributed 21 assists, nine digs and three aces and Jada O'Mally scored seven kills and five blocks.
In defeat, Chaffey was led by Jazel Perez with 21 kills and setter Cecilia White, who dished out an impressive 60 assists.
PCC plays at current state No. 21 Riverside City College in a non-conference match on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and follow that with a visit to No. 7-rated Long Beach City College in a SCC crossover on Friday, Oct. 19. After another crossover (non-conference for standings purposes) v. visiting LA Harbor on Wednesday, Oct. 24, Coach Mike Terrill's Lancers will return to SCC North play at East Los Angeles (2-1 currently in the division) on Halloween night.