COSTA MESA -- One thing about this year's Orange Coast College women's volleyball team ... if you come to see them play live, make sure you have no immediate plans that same evening.
For the fourth time in five Orange Empire Conference matches, the Pirates needed five grueling sets before finally pulling out a 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-8 win over a feisty Fullerton Hornet squad on Friday night inside the Peterson Gym.
Lily Johnson led the Pirates (13-1, 4-1 in OEC) with 19 kills, while Bailey Coffin and Hally Herder each knocked down 13 kills. Setter Camryn Kaina dished out 63 assists as several OCC hitters were involved into the offense throughout the match.
Amanda Henderson had 22 kills for the Hornets (6-4, 1-3).
The stage was set for a long evening right from the opening set as Fullerton came into the Peterson Gym and carried an 18-17 lead on the Pirates before Coast used some strong serves by Rylee Adair and a pair of Johnson kills to cap off an 8-1 run to close things out.
It looked good for the hosts in the second set as Coast carried a 22-19 advantage, only to see Fullerton's middle blockers notch back-to-back blocks during a 6-0 run to stun the Pirates and even the match at a set apiece. Server Lauren Schaefer set the pace during that run with a pair of aces and several well-placed serves that put the Pirates out of sync down the stretch.
In the third set, a 20-20 tie was broken by the strong play of Herder, who notched a solo block and ripped a kill on back-to-back points, putting OCC ahead for good. A pair of Johnson putaways ended the set and put Coast up 2-1 in the match.
Coast grabbed a 21-20 lead in the fourth set on back-to-back kills by Coffin before a 4-1 mini-run by the Hornets gave them a pair of set points to work with.
A Coffin kill and a double-contact violation call on the Hornets evened the set at 24, but Fullerton regrouped and used a kill by Samaria Longstreet and a net return by the Pirates to end the set and even the match at two games apiece.
Fullerton grabbed an early 5-4 lead in the race to 15, before Coast grabbed control of things with a 9-0 run to finally squash the Hornets. Herder had three kills during that pivotal run, while Raigan Ramos came through with a pair of big kills as well. Finally, the match came to an end just over two hours after it started when Coffin found some open floor for her final kill of the night.
Coast will return to action on Wednesday at Santa Ana College (6 p.m.). OCC's next home match will be on Friday against Santiago Canyon (6 p.m.).