Corsairs rodeo in win against the Vaqueros

On Friday, March 4th, the defending State Champion Santa Monica College Corsairs, swept the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros in an entertaining game. Even though both teams started off with multiple errors, The Corsairs took advantage and won in three sets: 25-20, 25-23, and 25-23. With the win, the defending conference and state champions extended their conference record to 2-0 and are bouncing back after only two wins in their first seven games of the season.

During the first set, both teams looked to still be warming up to the match.

"We were a little bit nervous at first, missing a lot of serves," said Joseph Mayer, Santa Monica's starting setter.

Santa Monica’s middle blocker from China, Paddy Pan, set the difference late in the first set to put the Corsairs up 22-19 over the Vaqueros. Out of a Vaqueros' timeout, Corsairs' libero Maxwell Garris came up with a well-timed ace followed by a block on the next point by Mayer and ultimately closing out the first set 25-20 in the Corsairs' favor.

At the start of the second set, both teams got into rhythm and each showcased their strong offenses. Joseph Mayer was the most balanced player of the set for the Corsairs, having a couple of digs and kills.

The Corsairs pushed ahead late with a four-point lead due to the great offensive play from Roscoe Nelms, Paddy Pan, and Richard Yu. Chinese freshman Richard Yu, concluded the set, 25-23, with a monster kill.

Coming into the third set, Santa Monica took advantage of a Santa Barbara team that lacked inspiration and energy.

Paddy Pan pushed the Corsairs ahead to a four point lead with back to back kills early in the set. With a 12-7 lead, Santa Monica became too relaxed and allowed the Vaqueros to mount a comeback. The Vaqueros' comeback was lead by Taylor McCluskey, who registered 16 kills in the match.

However, the Corsairs found themselves late and found their way to a straight set victory. The victory was capped off with a perfect spike from player of the game, Corsairs' freshman outside hitter Kyle Skinner, to close out the set 25-23. Skinner finished with 11 kills on the night.

Pan helped out with nine kills and six blocks of his own.

"The game wasn’t the cleanest volleyball. A lot of errors by us, but we pulled out the game," said Corsairs' head coach Jackson Metichecchia. "We are taking it one day at a time, and looking at Pierce [College] next week."

The Corsairs seek to remain unbeaten in conference play when they face off against LA Pierce College in Woodland Hills on Friday, March 11.

Coach Metichecchia will look to coach against his alma mater Friday for the first time since being named the head coach for SMC prior to this season.