An Encore Presentation
In their second home match of the season, the Santa Monica College Women’s Volleyball team took on the Marauders of Antelope Valley College. SMC looked to prove itself not just to it's doubters, or even to their fans, but to themselves. It turned out that it wouldn’t be the opposition that would pose the biggest obstacle to a Corsair victory, but it would be the Santa Monica team itself.
In their home debut, a win against LA Harbor, Santa Monica shocked many with a gritty, focused and determined style of play that served notice that this year’s model was going to be very different from last year's. If you have on road uniforms and are expecting to step onto SMC's home court and waltz your way to an easy three set victory, you had better think again. And so it was with a raucous crowd chock full of expectations cheering them on, the women’s volleyball team took to the court with the weight of heavy expectations on their shoulders. SMC immediately fell behind 0-3, as freshman outside-hitter (OH) Paula Hicks, took a hard Marauder spike center-mass on her jersey number as AVC raced out to a 5-2 lead.
The Corsairs would fight, scratch, and claw all the way back taking their first lead at 12-11 and controlling the remainder of the set, winning it 25-19. Santa Monica would find their groove in the second set, taking it 25-17 as setter Megan Middleton (#5) found her teammates' sweet spot and had SMC bombing away at the Marauders. AVC appeared defenseless at times, but all of that would change in set three.
With Santa Monica's Chelsea Bostwick and Elena Eckhardt bombing away from the outside, and teammates Camryn Sommaripa and Kelsie Molle doing double duty up the middle on offense and defense, AVC's chances looked dicey. Santa Monica positioned themselves to run away with the match, and SMC would find themselves playing very well in the third set. Up 19-16 in the third, just five points away from a victory, it was as though some bad gas got into the Corsairs fuel line. An out serve at 22-22, gave AVC the lead and they followed up with a serve that found hardwood to get them to set point. Two points later, the Marauders would serve to take the set 25-23.
The fourth and final set saw your Corsairs get off to a 8-2 start. SMC should have ran away with the rest of the match, but for several spells throughout the set it appeared as though the team would lose focus. SMC lost their composure, resulting in shanked passes and out serves. Better play from the Marauders didn’t help as that 8-2 lead quickly changed to 8-7. But, as quickly as things got out of hand for SMC, they got turned around in the blink of an eye. This team’s grit, hustle, and ability to do the small things changed the score to 16-9. Santa Monica was feeling it, and continuing to do just enough to withstand a final Antelope Valley run. SMC was persistent and took the last set 25-19. It cannot go without mention that the women’s volleyball team is pretty much a M*A*S*H until at all times. Last week's LA Harbor match saw the Corsairs use seven players the entire way, there are six on the floor at a time. This game SMC only used ten players against AVC.
We’ve already mention some of the players in this article but now is the time to highlight those who aren’t playing at the net: Libero Megan Yoon for moving from setter against LA Harbor to Libero, directing traffic and getting teammates in the right place. Setter Megan Middleton for sticking with it. Paula Hicks, Taylor Burks, Taylor Eden and Kelsi Pich for settling the team down by taking care of the simple stuff like serving in, covering your teammates back, and making nice easy passes for their setter to handle.
Antelope Valley’s record falls to 1-5, while your SMC Corsairs improved to 4-3 on the season. SMC will return home to take on the Renegade Knights of Bakersfield, on October 4, 2017 at 6 PM.