SMC women's volleyball fails to serve up victory

The well-rounded Lady Corsair volleyball team was defeated by the Santa Barbara Vaqueros in an eventful home game played in the Santa Monica College gym Tuesday, Sept. 12. The Corsairs won the opening set by the score of 26-24, but the visiting Vaqueros regrouped to win the next three sets by the scores of 25-22, 25-16, and 25-20, respectively.

Amelia Keeling led the Corsairs to victory in the first set with her display of several strong hits. After seven kills the Vaqueros' head coach, Ed Gover, had seen enough and called a first timeout. Things were looking promising as the Corsairs came out strong and hoarded all momentum.

However, the Vaqueros came back with a couple of well-placed kills and digs, which brought the team back up at 7-6.

The two squads showed excellent composure throughout multiple lead changes. Santa Barbara proved to be difficult to shake even after the Corsairs took a five-point lead, and before the players could blink the first set was even at 24-24.

Following several strategic timeouts and fantastically epic rallies, the Corsairs finally took the first set, 26-24.

"The first game we played was probably the best we ever played," said sophomore libero Sam Montgomery.

After such a valiant effort in the first set, it was hard to witness the Lady Corsairs' success prove to be ephemeral.

The Vaqueros opened up the second set by being aggressive and reinforced their defense with their highly-effective blocking game.

The Corsairs would not go down easy however, and clung on by consistently keeping the game at two points until Santa Barbara finally took advantage and won it by four, 25-21.

Head Coach Nicole Ryan was forced to call the team's first timeout at the beginning of the third set, as the Lady Vaqueros took an early 7-1 lead.

After tweaking a few elements of strategy, the Corsairs responded significantly and took a propitious 15-9 lead.

This unfortunately would also prove to be short-lived, as the Vaqueros would ascend to divine status by allowing just one point for the rest of the set and trumped the Corsairs 25-16.

The Vaqueros came out strong in the fourth set yet again with a flurry of kills from opposite hitter Antonia Antes, setting up a 17-10 lead for Santa Barbara.

A showing of a couple of kills and blocks by the Corsairs slated the score at 22-19, and the Ladies looked as if they were ready to mount a comeback. The home squad even brought the game to within two points, but lamentably it was not enough to win the set. The Vaquero's stole the show by taking it 25-20 closing the match at 3 sets to one.

"I feel like we could have done a little bit better," said Montgomery.

However, it must be considered that this was only the fourth game of a very long season, and Ryan is pretty confident about the rest of the year. "I think we are on our way," she said.

Look for the Lady Corsairs to take this match on the chin and reload for this week's opponents on the road.