Pirates capture two more victories over Santa Monica, Desert

Pirates capture two more victories over Santa Monica, Desert

COSTA MESA -- Another long day of volleyball yielded two more wins for the Orange Coast College women's volleyball team as the Pirates rolled past Santa Monica City College and College of the Desert on Saturday inside the Peterson Gym.

The tripleheader of volleyball began with a 25-3, 25-14, 25-23 win over the Corsairs. The Pirate starters dominated the underdog SMCC squad in the opening set and never looked. The Pirates mixed and matched their lineup the rest of the match, but in spite of a more competitive set of scores over the final two sets, OCC controlled things from start to finish.

Joceline Martinez played all three sets for OCC and led the way with 11 kills on just 18 attempts with no errors. Bailey Coffin was close behind with 10 kills, while teammate Lucrezia Lualdi added seven kills and six digs. 

Amber Lewis dished out a team-best 23 assists, while Mahina Kenoi denied the success of the Corsairs with a team-best 10 digs.

After Desert swept past SMCC in the second match of the afternoon, OCC and the Roadrunners battled it out in the nightcap. In the best match of the young season, the Pirates outlasted COD in four tough sets, winning 25-20, 26-28, 26-24, 26-24.

Lily Johnson led the way with 14 kills, while Martinez added 13 and Kenoi added 11. OCC's defense 

In a matchup that featured several long rallies, the numbers were off the charts for both teams on the defensive side. For the Pirates, seven different players notched 10 or more digs, including Terri Tokita-Robins (29), Coffin (23) and Kenoi (23). Thea Snider paced the OCC offense with 43 assists.

For the Roadrunners (5-3), Kate Thiem led the way with 20 kills, while Kendal Campbell added 13.

It took a late rally in the opening set for OCC to pull away from the Roadrunners. Leading 16-15, Coast went on a crucial 7-1 run and never looked back. Johnson's two kills and three total blocks helped spark that run and gave Coast a 1-0 lead in the match.

It appeared that another late run by the Pirates would help them pull out the second set as a 5-1 spark gave Coast a 23-22 advantage. But COD battled back, overcame a set point and evened the match at a set apiece.

The third set came down to who would have the final "run" to grab control of the match. Trailing 19-16, OCC ripped off four points in a row to take a 20-19 lead, only to see COD respond with a 3-0 run to retake the lead at 22-20. Coast would respond with three in row as well to lead, 23-22 before a pair of Pirate errors would give COD a set-point opportunity at 24-23.

But a long return by the Roadrunners, a Johnson block and a COD return into the net sparked the final 3-0 run to give OCC the 26-24 win.

All things pointed to a fifth set as Coast trailed 16-8 midway through the fourth set. The Pirates managed trim two off of the lead but still trailed 21-17 before turning on the jets for one final push.

Kills by Coffin, Martinez and Amanda Schuler brought Coast to within a point, forcing COD into a timeout. The Roadrunners appeared to right the ship and were just two points from evening the match (23-21) before OCC used a Johnson kill, a Johnson block and a long COD shot attempt pushed the Pirates ahead, 24-23.

COD tied it up at 24 with a kill by Thiem, but back-to-back putaways by Johnson gave Coast the final two points needed to improve to 5-0 this year.

Coast will return to action on Wednesday at home against Ventura College, beginning at 6 p.m.