Raiders sink Corsairs

The Santa Monica Men's volleyball team was defeated last Wednesday night by the Moorpark Raiders. The first game started off slowly, with the Corsairs playing catch up for most of the game, only to lose 20-25.

The six starters then pulled a complete 180, taking the too-comfortable Raiders by surprise.

With the powerful sophomore outside hitter, Pete Aronchick, leading the team in kills, Santa Monica closed the deal pretty quickly in game two, 25-19.

Freshman setter Daniel Penrod carried the team through game three with successful connections to all of his attackers, and impressive defense as well.  He even secured a couple of kills himself throughout the match, like crushing an overpass by a Moorpark outside hitter.

The Corsairs managed to close up game three, 25-21, and things slowly began to fall apart for them.

"We lost energy," co-captain Lance Kinningham explained.  "We need to make smarter plays when we get behind, you give games away when you try too hard and hit into the net."

Santa Monica's defense was not giving Penrod any leeway, with all back row players failing to produce consistent passes, making it difficult to get good sets to the front row.   Not surprisingly, this debilitated Santa Monica's offense.

Moorpark's defense put up big blocks against SMC's outside hitters and took advantage of corsair mistakes to win the fourth game with ease.

In the middle two games, Santa Monica found success. Their missed serves were minimal, while Moorpark tallied quite a few.

As energy shifted, and Moorpark starting taking over in game 4, it was accompanied by a switch in serving errors.  The Raiders were more consistent and SMC failed to use serving to their advantage.

The fifth game showed a noticeable deterioration in spirit, as it seemed no one even expected to have had to play another game.  With a waning desire to win, the Corsairs finished out the game, without the victory, 12-15

"We have good chemistry," said Kinningham.  "We just haven't reached our potential."

The Corsair's next match up is against Long Beach City College on March 9, at home.