Men's volleyball drops season finale

The Santa Monica College men’s volleyball team finished up their season last Wednesday with a three-set loss to the Moorpark College Raiders.

The Corsairs came out initially with impressive energy. Led by sophomore Zach Brown, the Corsairs pushed the Raiders to the brink only to be edged out in the closing moments, 25-21.

“I don’t feel like I was carrying the team," said Brown. "I couldn’t have done it without each one of these guys."

After spending a considerable amount of energy in the first set to no avail, the Corsairs did not quite challenge in the second or third set, going down 25-17 and 25-19 respectively.

The Corsairs gave the Raiders their best, but Moorpark’s seemingly unbreakable wall of defenders rendered the Corsairs offense ineffective.

Sophomore opposite hitter Charlie Schmittdiel, who has been a standout and leader this season, did not play in the first set and most of the second set.

“It’s a big deal when you have three guys out there over 6-foot-5, and whenever the coaches want me on the floor, I’m there. We just wanted to try something new and Felix [Alvarado] played great tonight," said Schmittdiel on his teammate's performance.

But with Schmittdiel’s late insertion in the second set, and with the team already being down 22-13, it was too late to mount a comeback.

“Last match we won against Santa Barbara after tinkering with the lineups," said SMC head coach John Mayer. "We played well so we stuck with it against Moorpark. But we struggled without Charlie [Schmittdiel] tonight.”

With Wednesday night’s game concluding the SMC's sophomores' careers, the Corsairs will look to a pair of red-shirt freshmen to help build the team for next season.

“We have a couple of really good red-shirt freshmen, Taylor Tattersall and Luis Palos, two guys who would have started if they had not been hurt," said Mayer. "I think they’ll really help us out next year.”

Though the sophomores may be done playing for SMC, they have their eyes set on playing at a higher level.

“I’m going to go wherever I’ll touch the ball most," said Brown. "That being said, volleyball is more of a minor. I feel like a better person after this season. I got a lot of character out of it.”

One thing the Corsairs volleyball team has taken away from this season is keeping a positive mental attitude.

"I’ve developed some great friendships the last couple of years with my teammates and coaches," said Schmittdiel. "You have to cherish the time you have on the court."