Corsairs Disappoint Against Moorpark Raiders; Fall 3-1

Coming off an impressive win against LA Pierce two weeks back, the Santa Monica Corsairs' men's volleyball team was riding high entering their match-up versus the Moorpark College Raiders. Unfortunately, their victorious experience at Pierce College meant very little to the Raiders, as SMC fell 3 games to 1. The first game of four came as a loss for the Corsairs, 30-25. Moorpark's strategy of simply feeding their middle hitter with quick sets simply proved too much for SMC to handle. That isn't to say that the team was incapable of striking back, as Lance Kinningham, Mark Sherman and Jeff Sanguin all landed devastating kills. One particular kill by Sherman comes to mind. It happened to end a ferocious rally, with both teams attempting to score and spike the ball as hard as they could. As he received the set, Mark Sherman leapt up and noticed a hole in the defense of the Moorpark defenders. With only a quick glance, his pinpoint accuracy with the spike ended both the rally and Moorpark's lead over the Corsairs.

Unfortunately, the Corsairs simply let one too many kills go unanswered. This is not to say they were without effort though, as multiple SMC players tried their absolute hardest to keep the ball off the ground. Martin Chiong, in particular, made a dangerous slide in an attempt to save the ball. In pursuit, he was unable to stop in time and slid straight into the bleachers. Not to be deterred however, Chiong stood right back up without a wince and resumed play. In the end, a combination of questionable calls by the referees, linemen and a collection of simple mistakes cost the Corsairs the first game.

The second game would end in a route, with a score of 30-20 in Moorpark's favor. This particular match started out rather badly for any Corsair fans as the Raiders utterly wrecked the SMC defense 0-4, causing a time out to be quickly called. After the time out, Lance Kinningham rallied the home crowd by landing a monstrous kill, finally putting a point up on the board for the SMC team. Unfortunately, Moorpark just continued to feed their middle hitter, allowing the Raiders to maintain their lead.

The Corsairs attempted to stop the Raiders several times, but they never managed to mount any serious offensive drive. Jeff Sanguin landed a beautiful ace in an attempt to catch up, but Moorpark retaliated and, as a result, sustained control throughout the game.

Lightening up the mood during a tough stretch for the SMC fans, Moorpark would make a rather comical mistake in the game's second half. As the ball came over the net, the Raiders were watching it so intensely that they just forgot to move towards the ball at all. Instead, the ball simply landed in the midst of the team with a resounding thud. The only thing that anyone could hear was someone shouting, "CAMPFIRE!" a derogatory term denoting that all they had done was simply huddle around the ball.

The third game would come as a welcome surprise for all the Santa Monica fans in attendance. The Corsairs managed to get their act together and showed that they were still a team to be reckoned with, defeating the Raiders soundly, 30–25.

The start of the game seemed to be the more of the same, as the Raiders resorted to their one strategy involving their middle hitter and tacked on an early lead. But SMC would to catch a lucky break when Moorpark served out-of-bounds, allowing the Corsairs to quickly capitalize on the error and overtake the Raiders. After that, the game was pretty much settled. Moorpark struggled as SMC found themselves in a nice rhythm, dominating on both offense and defense. The Raiders fell apart near the middle of the contest and never recovered. The Corsairs continued to hammer away at Moorpark, clinching the game and moving onto a fourth.

Unfortunately for SMC fans, the last game ended in anticlimactic fashion and with bitter disappointment. After the previous comeback, the lopsided loss was almost too much to bear. The Corsairs would lose the last game 30–20 and the match, 3–1.

Moorpark opened with a bang, landing an uncontested kill and starting the Corsairs on a downward spiral. There were certain instances when Moorpark made mistakes that gave SMC the chance to capitalize, but it would just not be enough. The referees and linemen seemed to enjoy favoring Moorpark College on every questionable call, making it a difficult game to win under any circumstance, but the SMC team made it even harder by making several mental errors throughout the contest. In the end, Moorpark walked away with their heads held high in victory as the Corsairs shook their own and walked off in defeat.