Men's Volleyball Can't Find Rhythm Against Santa Barbara Vaqueros; Lose 3-0

The Santa Barbara Vaqueros' 1986 state championship banner, suspended over the heads of the SMC men's volleyball team, forecasted a turbulent road ahead. The Vaqueros wasted no time in a decisive 3-0 victory over Santa Monica. 

The game began quickly for the Corsairs, as they scored the first two points of the contest with stern aces flying over the heads of the Vaqueros' defense. SMC took advantage of Santa Barbara's inability to move their players around the court and, in doing so, disallowed any quick response from SBCC. 

However, any thought of a Corsair victory would swiftly be altered as the Vaqueros turned up their intensity and matched the heat the Corsairs were bringing toward the end of each set. 

"If we'd played to 20 we would have won the game because between 20 and 30 we lost it," said Coach John Mayer. 

The first game ended with the Corsairs falling behind 30-23. Following the first defeat, Mayer gathered the team members into a huddle, stating that the contest was not yet over and that it was possible to move ahead and win. This seemed to inspire SMC, as after a steady back and forth period of scoring between the two teams, the Vaqueros held only a slight 19-18 advantage over Santa Monica. 

The Corsairs felt renewed after their first set redemption and began to display confidence that a victory was on the horizon. They started encouraging each other after failed digs on defense and even laughed off some of the errors, under the impression that they would make up for it later. 

It was not until the end of the second game, where the team suffered a 30-27 defeat, that the Corsairs were given reason to fear their impending demise. Between the second and third match, the Vaqueros were up on their feet practicing bumps and spikes, at ease as they chatted wildly in preparation for what would become their first win over the Corsairs this season. 

As the bell rang to start the third game, the team filed out onto the court and fought hard to keep their hopes alive. The Corsairs battled valiantly, but on this night the Vaqueros just wouldn't be stopped. ? 

Eventually, the tug of war led to the final point scored for the Vaqueros leaving the game at 30-27 for a final tally of 3 games to 0. 

Despite the end result, it was clear from the beginning that the team entered the match with too much confidence. "We had beaten them before and didn't expect to lose this game," said player Yadier Despagne. 

"They outplayed us. I think it was totally on our side of the net," Mayer said. 

Coach Mayer understands that the team is young, but they are budding into a successful group of student athletes with the potential to win every game as long as they approach each one with the same level of energy and defensive strength. 

"We can be good for spurts but then we'll let off," said Mayer. 

In anticipation of their next encounter with SBCC on Wednesday, April 7 the Corsairs will not allow this loss to hold them down.

"We'll just have to kick their butt when they come to SMC," said Ammon Ellison. "We'll have to return the favor."