By Brent Shaver, IVC Sports Information
Irvine Valley followed up its women's indoor volleyball state title last fall by winning the inaugural California Community College Athletic Association Sand Volleyball State Championship on Friday at Irvine Valley.
The Lasers finished with a record of 3-0 in the four-team sand event to claim the championship.
IVC defeated Cabrillo, 4-1, Grossmont, 5-0, and was up, 2-1, over Golden West when the match was clinched.
"We knew we had the talent," Irvine Valley coach Tom Pestolesi said. "You are always nervous and maybe even a little more nervous when you know you should win. But the girls stepped up when they needed to today. That second round against Grossmont was big and all of our girls really played well. Winning that match, 5-0, really put some separation between us and everyone else."
Irvine Valley got straight-set victories from all five of its teams against Grossmont.
Grossmont earned the runner-up trophy with a 2-1 record. It defeated Golden West, 5-0, and was up, 3-1, over Cabrillo when the match was halted.
Irvine Valley, Grossmont, Golden West and Cabrillo each won regional events on Tuesday to move on to the first-ever State Championship event.
Irvine Valley was the top-seeded team heading in to Friday.
"We have great players and our coaching staff is amazing," Pestolesi said. "Our assistant coaches Mike Cram and Butch May do such a good job and make it a lot of fun. It has all worked out so well for us."
Irvine Valley took care of Cabrillo first, defeated Grossmont and then won two of the first three matches against Golden West to clinch the title.
The IVC No. 4 team of Hannah Matt and Kayla Scheevel beat the Golden West team of Annie Ellis and Alyson Utke, 21-11, 21-17, and Irvine Valley's No. 5 team of Shaelyn Perez and Taylor Askins defeated Golden West's duo of Megan Sanchez and Kelsey Osgood, 21-14, 21-11, to help seal the overall IVC victory.
Perez and Askins won all three of their matches on the day. Matt and Scheevel went 2-1, dropping its first match to Cabrillo's team of Helen Milne and Allee Smallwood, 17-21, 21-17, 15-13.
"Our depth was the difference," Pestolesi said. "Our No. 4 team and No. 5 team started great and took pressure off of everyone else. Shaelyn and Taylor (No. 5 team) were our team of the day today. They were really steady. They were just phenomenal for us."
Irvine Valley also got two wins each from its No. 1 team of Kobi Pekich and Marisa Doran, No. 2 team of Annie Mitchem and Emily Reinking and No. 3 team of Samantha Holdredge and Hailee Earnest.
The sand volleyball title was Irvine Valley College's third CCCAA State Championship of the 2014-15 school year. The Lasers won women's indoor volleyball last fall and just captured the men's tennis title last week.
The CCCAA Women's Sand Volleyball State Championships continue on Saturday with the individual portion of the event. Play gets underway at 9 a.m. at Irvine Valley with three more state titles on the line. The top No. 1 teams, top No. 2 teams and top No. 3 teams will each play in eight-team brackets to determine state winners.
1st Place - Irvine Valley College
2nd Place - Grossmont College
3rd Place - Golden West College
4th Place - Cabrillo College