It was only two weeks ago that the Pasadena City College women's volleyball team watched South Coast Conference rival Mt. San Antonio sweep the Lancers at their Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium court. On Saturday, it was time for PCC to return the favor v. the #17 seeded Mounties.
Pasadena, seeded No. 16 after winning the SCC North Division crown for the second straight year, played like a champion in sweeping Mt. SAC, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23, in a SoCal Regional Playoff Play-In Round match at the HP Gym.
PCC received a big night from redshirt freshman middle blocker Danielle Johnson, who recorded eight kills (hit .375), served her season-high six aces and had five block assists. The Lancers made nine blocks for points and finished with 11 team aces, compared to just five blocks and five aces by the Mounties.
"Our game plan included a significant opportunity for our middles to shine and Dani and Jada took full advantage tonight," said PCC head coach Mike Terrill. "We won the conference this year because of our serving and passing, and that was a big factor tonight. The big difference between our last meeting and tonight was our team's determination to learn the game plan and execute it. We did so many things well, but most importantly we just played PCC volleyball. Janell Currier has been a consistent force and passed extremely well. Our setter Tehya Topalian stepped up and ran our offense with precision and confidence."
Outside hitter Leslie Rivera connected for a team-high nine kills with 15 digs and two blocks. Currier, an outside hitter, added seven kills and 11 digs while O'Mally contributed four kills and four blocks. Topalian accconted for 23 set assists. Libero Pamela Galvan made 16 digs.
In the opening set, PCC trailed 7-2 and 15-10, but pulled ahead 19-18 on a Rivera ace. A 5-1 run clinched that set with Martin flipping a pair of aces. In set 2, the Lancers held the lead from 2-1 on and rolled to a 12-3 lead. Never threatened in the game, PCC recorded the 8-point win. In the final set, Mt. SAC played its best set, taking five different leads, but PCC crept back to take the lead at 16-15 and then again at 20-19. After the Mounties tied it at 22-22, the Lancers took advantage on Mt. SAC serve and attack errors for consecutive points. At 24-23, the Lancers scored match point on a block by Johnson and teammate Camille Ferguson.
"Our sophomores showed a lot of pride and it's exciting to know they are 4-1 against Mt. SAC in their two years facing them," Terrill said.
The Lancers now play in Round 1 of the playoffs as they face state #1 and region top seed Irvine Valley College on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The Lasers are 18-1 and the Orange Empire Conference champions as well as the defending CCCAA state champions. However, IVC saw a 45-match win streak end in the regular season finale when it lost a 5-set thriller to Cypress.
Terrill is 2-1 now on postseason matches. PCC avenged a playoff loss to the Mounties in 2015, also in a Play-In Round match.