SMC Men's Volleyball Beats Pierce Brahmas 3-1
When a team is overwhelmed by influences outside their control, it takes a special group of individuals to rise above the complications and triumph. Despite questionable officiating, the men's volleyball team was able overcome and defeat LA Pierce College by a score of 3 games to 1. The first game was full of energy and excitement from both Pierce and SMC fans, despite very little action on the court. As the teams fed off of the crowd's electricity, the match started to pick up momentum right after Santa Monica took an important time-out.
The score was 13-15 in the Brahmas' favor and the Corsairs were just not working together as a team. They were dropping serves, out of formation, and were struggling just to execute a proper block. SMC took that aforementioned time out and came back with some fire in their bellies. They fought back and managed to tie it up at 19–19, but they soon grew complacent and allowed Pierce to once again take the lead.
That is not to say that SMC was lacking in effort, as sophomore hitter Blake Lively attempted to inspire his fellow teammates with a bang. Lively landed a devastating spike that let Pierce know that no matter what the score was, the Corsairs weren't just going to lie down. Martin Chiong also served up a perfectly-placed floater, making the Brahmas look foolish and forcing them to call a time out. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for SMC and Pierce took the first contest 30–25.
The second game started out with a whimper that would eventually grow into a full roar for the Corsairs. SMC scored the first point during a spot of luck as a spike came off the hitter's hand at an awkward angle, allowing it to land conveniently on the Pierce side of the court. Not taking that luck for granted, the Corsairs scored their second point on a devastating block, followed by another well-executed spike. It was only a minute into the game and SMC was already up by three points. Continuing their momentum, the Corsairs would maintain a steady lead throughout the first half.
It was at this point however, that the referee began to make rather questionable calls. They were negligible at first, calling various penalties incurred by the SMC team, but suspicion grew as the officials skipped over similar fouls committed by the Brahmas.
The SMC team was undeterred in their drive to victory. The fire in their guts that was missing from the first game came back as a raging bonfire in the second affair. Sophomore Lance Kinningham landed a devastating kill to end the game convincingly at 30–28.
The third contest started off poorly for the Corsairs. Pierce switched to a three man block and completely shut down SMC's offense early on. Pierce managed four quick points before the Corsairs called a much-needed time-out to reassess their strategy. When they returned to play, sophomore Jacob Dennis dropped a sneaky shot over the defenders' heads, putting an end to the three man blocks. From there it was only a matter of time. Like an incoming tide, the SMC offense rolled over Pierce and completely overwhelmed them, coming back from a four point deficit to win the game 30–28.
With Pierce needing a victory in the next game just to stay alive, the Corsairs quickly stamped out any chance of a comeback with a thrilling 32-30 victory in the final match over the Brahmas. The contest began with both teams trading points, with Pierce getting the brief edge at 7–8. The Brahmas would maintain that the early lead was due to some shoddy calls by the refs, but SMC remained undaunted. The Corsairs battled back from a 12-17 deficit, and with a solid all-around play triumphed over Pierce in the concluding game.
Unfortunately for the Brahmas, even with referee assistance, they just could not pull themselves together to wrest victory away from SMC. Even when Santa Monica briefly wilted under the pressure and gave up two serves near the end, Pierce was unable to execute and failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
In the end, SMC walked away with a hard-fought victory. Despite a couple of mental mistakes, they persevered and managed to beat Pierce in spite of the odds being stacked against them.