Men's Volleyball: SMC vs. LA Pierce Preview
For Santa Monica College men’s volleyball head coach Jackson Meticchechia, tomorrow’s game against Los Angeles Valley Pierce Brahmas draws mixed emotions. “I love [Pierce’s] gym, I love that program. If it were up to me, we would win every year and they would take second every year,” Meticchechia said.
His loyalty will be tested, as Meticchechia will face his former team for the first time as head coach of the Corsairs.
Objectively, the game is an important point in the season for the Corsairs' momentum.
The Corsairs have won back-to-back games in Western State Conference play to bring their record to 4-5, though the opponents they defeated are a combined 7-21.
The Brahmas have not fared better than the other opponents SMC has defeated as they limp into this match up on a three game losing streak and are 2-8 overall, 0-2 in conference.
The Brahmas are weak on the front line as they have a -133 kill differential and a -28 block differential. The one thing that Pierce does not allow is errors. The Brahmas are in the middle of the state in errors with 156 after committing 31 in yesterday's loss to Long Beach.
The two players for the Brahmas that the blue and white must account for are sophomore outside hitter Cris Pessin and freshman outside hitter Raymond Barsemian. The two combine for just under 50 percent of the kills for Pierce and lead the team in service aces with 16 and nine respectively.
Coming out of last Friday’s win against Santa Barbara City College, Meticchechia felt that the team’s offense flowed better.
“Our passing was at least better than it has been, which is a good sign, and our hitters did a good job calling plays and seeing the set,” Meticchechia said.
In the two conference games, SMC is averaging 13.2 kills, 12.8 assists and 18.8 points per set compared to 9.8 kills, 9.4 assists and 13.4 points per set in non-conference play.
However, the Corsairs are second in the state in errors with 170 and added 14 more on Friday night.
Though the freshmen on the team come to SMC with volleyball experience, Meticchechia feels that the errors are a result of a lack of maturity.
“[It is] understanding the game for what it is, knowing when the times are to take risk and when they’re not,” Meticchechia said.
The game will take place tomorrow, March 11, at 6:00 p.m. in the South Gym at Los Angeles Pierce College.