Corsairs vanquished by El Camino in exciting match

The Santa Monica College men’s volleyball team suffered a disappointing defeat, their eleventh in a row, on Friday night at the hands of the El Camino College Warriors.

Despite a thrilling end-to-end match and an impressive team effort, it was not enough for the Corsairs to prevail.

The loss drops the Corsairs to 3-12 on the year, 0-8 in conference play, placing them at the bottom of the standings with only two games remaining.

"They don’t give up any free points," said SMC assistant coach Dhiraj Coats. "They take care of the ball and really make you earn it."

Though the Warriors won in three straight sets, the game was a little closer than the statistic sheet showed.

The Warriors squeaked by SMC in the first and third sets, 26-24 and 25-22 respectively.

However, the Corsairs would not go quietly as it took everything the Warriors had to stymie the valiant comeback attempt, led by outside hitter Zack Brown and middle blocker Jason Mallek.

"We didn’t get the win, which is upsetting, but it’s hard to be upset when you play like we did," Brown said. "Everyone played great."

Making things more difficult for the squad was the absence of star player and team leader, Charlie Schmittdiel, who was not available to play due to a missed practice the day before.

"We practiced some things, and he didn’t know what we were doing, really," said Coats.

Though the Corsairs have had a rough go at it this season, their exciting play and dedication in the losses is something on which they are hoping to build.

"They fought well and played for each other as a team; that was huge tonight," said Coats.

With half of the team being freshmen, the coaching staff is hoping they can come back next season with the same approach displayed by this year's sophomore leaders, giving them a leg up on their competition.

The Corsairs will play their final home game of the season on Wednesday, April 10 at 6 p.m.