MISSION VIEJO -- For the second time this season, the Orange Coast College women's volleyball team was nearly tripped up, but again, the Pirates found a way to pull out a five-set road win. Saddleback pushed the Pirates to the brink, but OCC managed to top the Gauchos in a thriller on Wednesday night.
OCC (14-3, 7-2) trailed in sets, 2-1, before rallying for a 25-13, 19-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12 win over the host Gauchos (8-9, 3-6). With the win and Fullerton's loss to first-place Irvine Valley, the Pirates are now tied with the Hornets for second place in the Orange Empire Conference with just seven matches remaining in the regular season. Coast will travel to Fullerton to take on the Hornets on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in a crucial OEC matchup. Fullerton topped the Pirates in three sets at OCC back on Sept. 27 (26-24, 25-12, 25-21).
In their win over the Gauchos, Mahina Kenoi and Lucrezia Lualdi each put on an all-around show for the Pirates. Kenoi finished with 15 kills and 23 digs, while Lualdi knocked down 15 kills of her own to go along with 18 digs. Joceline Martinez and Bailey Coffin each added nine kills, while Lily Johnson contributed seven kills to go along with four blocks. Setter Thea Snider notched 42 assists, while libero Terri Takita-Robins equaled Kenoi's mark of 23 digs to lead the team's defensive effort.
Before their showdown with Fullerton, the Pirates will take on rival Golden West College on Friday at 6 p.m. inside OCC's Peterson Gymnasium.