By Chris Ruiz, CCCMVCA Sports Information Director
State tournament most valuable player Brendan Duff totaled 48 assists to lead the Orange Coast College Pirates to a 25-18, 25-23, 17-25, 21-25, 15-10 marathon win over the Santa Monica Corsairs in the final match of the 2014 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Men's Volleyball State Championship at Santiago Canyon College in Orange on Friday evening.
Orange Coast capped its championship season with an impressive 20-1 overall record and captured the program's sixth state title overall and first since 1994. Also with the victory, the Pirates snapped a seven-match losing streak in the state final.
"Obviously it feels great to win," said OCC head coach Travis Turner. "Its a one-year battle, year in and year out and this group worked harder than any group we've ever had. I'll take these guys over anyone and I would have said that even if we had lost."
All-State Tournament selection Jim Webb (20 kills) and Ty Hutchins (19 kills) provided the Pirates offense and combined for 39 of OCC's 55 kills on the night.
The Pirates powered their way to an early 2-0 before the Corsairs came alive in the third. Santa Monica's deadly duo of Keats Stanley and Taylor Tattersall became major factors in the match. Stanley slammed home eight of his team-best 26 kills in the third while Tattersall added five of his 23 kills in the set to keep SMC's hopes alive.
Orange Coast opened the fourth set with a 4-1 lead before Santa Monica fought its way back to tie it up at 10-10 after a kill by Tattersall. The two squads exchanged points and with the score tied at 19, SMC finally pulled away. Behind the serving of Zane McFarlane, the Corsairs rallied for three straight points to go ahead 23-20. Hutchins had a kill to keep OCC in the set before Stanley slammed down a kill to bring up set point. Tim Porter and Luis Palos combined for the block of Webb to give SMC the win and send the match to a deciding fifth set.
Orange Coast came out determined to not let the victory slip out of its hands. OCC jumped out to leads of 3-1 and 7-3 in the fifth thanks to four kills and an ace by Webb. Santa Monica didn't go down easy and eventually tied it at 8-8 after an ace by Julio Lazaro.
But OCC responded with four straight points, getting a kill from Duff, back-to-back blocks from Scott Metrakos, and a kill by Hutchins to go ahead for good at 12-8.
Hutchins' kills gave Orange Coast match point and he closed out the championship victory with an ace to set off the Pirates' celebration.
"This is the best feeling in the world right now," said Webb after taking over in the fifth to help lead the Pirates to the win. "We've worked so hard all season long and when Santa Monica tied this up, we knew we had to push for our lives."
Santa Monica made its fourth appearance in the state championship final and first since 1981. For head coach John Mayer, he was extremely proud of his team.
"I couldn't have asked them to play any harder," Mayer said. "I thought we were nervous in the beginning and we didn't really start to look like ourselves until late in the second. Orange Coast is such a great team. They are so consistent, you've got to earn the win to beat them."
Mayer, whose past two teams had won just one conference game over the previous two seasons, closed 2014 with a 14-7 overall record after a third-place finish in the Western State Conference.
2014 ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Brendan Duff, Orange Coast (MVP)
Jim Webb, Orange Coast
Ty Hutchins, Orange Coast
Keats Stanley, Santa Monica
Taylor Tattersall, Santa Monica
Roy Powell, El Camino
Cole Murray, Irvine Valley