Pirates top El Camino in four; LBCC in five at OCC quad

Photo courtesy of Steven Guersch
Photo courtesy of Steven Guersch

COSTA MESA -- A long, painful, stressful week in the Orange Coast College athletics department ended on a happy note as the Pirate men's volleyball team knocked off El Camino in four sets before capping off Saturday's quad with a five-set win over defending state champion Long Beach City College.

Just six days after the tragic loss of OCC baseball coach John Altobelli, the Pirates stepped up on Saturday and battled through the emotions to knock off the Warriors, 22-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-21. In the finale, Coast battled the Vikings for over two-and-a-half hours before topping the defending champs, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-9.

Against the Vikings, Will Anderson ripped 16 kills to go along with eight digs, while Hunter Dickey and James Carpenter each added eight kills. Kohl Kutsch dished out 37 assists to go along with 10 digs, while Eric Beebe also added 13 assists for OCC (2-0).

LBCC (1-1) was led by 12 kills each from Arsene Ponsin and 11 kills each from Uriel Batista and Erik Hernandez.

In the opening set, OCC trailed 20-17 before a series of self-inflicted LBCC errors pushed the lead back to the Pirates. A long serve, followed by two net violations and a back-row infraction gave Coast a 21-20 advantage. LBCC tied it back up but a long serve and an ace by Anderson gave Coast a 23-21 lead. From there, both teams traded points before another touched net by the Vikings ended the set.

After dropping the second set, OCC bounced back and extended a 20-19 lead into a 23-19 advantage with a kill by Caden Saterfield and another pair of LBCC infractions. A Vikings point made it 23-20, but back-to-back kills by Cadenfield and James Townsend capped things off and gave Coast a 2-1 lead in the match.

Coast carried a 20-18 lead late into the fourth set, but LBCC fought back, using a block, an ace, two kills and an OCC hitting error into a 23-20 lead. Back-to-back kills by Hernandez gave Long Beach the match and evened things at two sets apiece. 

The Pirates came out swinging in the fifth set, turning 11 kills into points with Anderson leading the pace with four and Carpenter and Carter Depue each slugging a pair. OCC capped off the match with three straight points on kills by Troy Culp, Depue and Carpenter to cap off a long, but successful day of volleyball for the Pirates.

OCC returns to action on Friday at Santa Barbara City College before returning to the Peterson Gym on Tuesday, Feb. 11 against Vanguard University. Both matches will begin at 6 p.m.