Women's volleyball off to a rough start

The Santa Monica College women’s volleyball team had a difficult start with a first-game loss against the El Camino Warriors, and an ankle injury to middle blocker Justyce Smith last Wednesday.

The Corsairs lost three straight sets, 25-9, 25-18 and 25-22.

Five minutes into the first set, the Warriors over-passed on a return, and were called on a double. Despite getting off to a poor start, El Camino cleaned up their early mistakes and led 16-7 at a timeout called by SMC head coach Nicole Ryan.

“We’re learning and growing,” Ryan said.

The Warriors, who placed third at the CCCAA State Championships in 2011, continued to bombard SMC with 10-foot line spikes and efficient defense. The Corsairs gave away points—setter Bianca Ngo fumbled an attempted second-touch dump, and outside hitter Lauren Rosell kept hitting balls into the net.

A second time-out was called with El Camino leading 21-8 when Smith sprained her ankle.

The Warriors won the first set 25-9.

Mariko Coverdale, SMC assistant coach, strategized with the team during the entire three-minute interval before the second set.

In contrast, the El Camino team had a quick pep talk and was swiftly back on the court.

Libero Jane Siri aced her first serve, and the team showed improved footwork—the Corsairs held a tie with the Warriors at seven.

El Camino shanked Corsair middle blocker Ilyn Butac’s serve, and Ngo put up three saved passes.

Although the Corsairs had improved their game, the Warriors came back strong, placing balls in the deep right corner and hammering them down just behind the 10-foot line.

Rosell put down kills, enough so that Ngo excitedly hugged her, but SMC lost the second set 25-18.

In the third set, El Camino came back with a strong middle block; SMC’s renewed footwork topped the Warriors uncharacteristic scrappy plays as they took the lead. A timeout called by El Camino saw the Corsairs ahead by two points at 12-10.

As the Corsairs came back to the court, they shanked an easy pass, and the Warriors took advantage of the fumble, pushing ahead three points. The Corsairs fought back for their best game of the three sets, but ultimately came up short.

Warrior outside hitter Ashley Morimoto aced her serve on game point 25–22 for a three-set win against the Corsairs.

The SMC women’s volleyball team won both games of a doubleheader against East Los Angeles College and Allan Hancock on Saturday.

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