Pirates battle Lasers hard, but fall in four

Pirates battle Lasers hard, but fall in four

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's volleyball team put forth a strong effort against state powerhouse Irvine Valley, but in the end, the Lasers provided too much firepower and left the Peterson Gym with a four-set win over the Pirates on Wednesday night.

Evelyn Awai and Sierra Lim each had seven kills for the Pirates, but it wasn't enough as Coast fell to the Lasers, 21-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-11, in the final Orange Empire Conference match of the regular season.

Coast (17-8 overall, 9-7 in OEC) will see on Thursday if there will be more volleyball in the 2017 season with the announcement of playoff seedings. Log on to www.occpirateathletics.com for the latest playoff information as it becomes available.

Olivia Aguilar had 18 kills for the undefeated Lasers, (22-0, 16-0), while Taira Ka'awaloa added 16 kills.

Following prematch Sophomore Night honors for OCC's five second-year players in attendance, Coast came out strong and played one its best all-around sets of the season. Leading 17-16, OCC used a crucial 4-0 run to pull ahead of the Lasers with kills from Awai and Devyn Holland highlighting the outburst.

The lead grew to 23-17 before a 4-1 run by the Lasers made things interesting. Following an OCC timeout, Holland ripped a kill off of the IVC block, giving the Pirates the opening set, while IVC dropped just it's fifth set all season (66-5).

IVC regrouped and came out swinging in the second set, jumping out to a 16-6 lead as the duo of Ka'awaloa and Aguilar provided the offense needed to even the match at a set apiece.

Coast trailed 22-18 in the third set, but used a crucial three-point run to get right back into the match with kills by Holland and Lim, who also came up with a big solo block to bring OCC to within a point at 22-21.

But the Lasers maintained composure and used a pair of points to extend their lead to 24-21. OCC returned the favor with back-to-back points to force a Lasers' timeout and from there, they went to Aguilar, who ripped the final point of the set to give IVC a 2-1 lead in the match.

That would be as close as the Pirates would get to their upset bid as Irvine Valley used a pair of big runs to cruise to a 25-11 win in the fourth set.