by Gus Celarie, San Diego City College Sports Information
The Santa Monica Corsairs outlasted the El Camino Warriors, 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 25-19), in the final match of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Men's Volleyball Championship, to win their first state title since 1981 and third overall.
The Corsairs, who lost last year's championship match to Orange Coast, finished the season with an impressive 18-2 record.
"Last year was a good experience for this program," said Head Coach John Mayer. "Even though we lost it was a positive experience."
"This was a mature group who is committed and hard working. They believed in the process and worked their butts off."
Sophomore opposite Taylor Tattersall, who was on last season's squad, was awarded Most Valuable Player after recording 13 kills and three digs for Santa Monica.
"I played last year when we fell short and it feels good to come back and get the W," said Tattersall. "Winning MVP was unexpected, to be honest. It was a good overall team effort."
Santa Monica was ahead 17-16 in the opening set and went on a quick 6-2 run to take a comfortable 23-18 lead. The Corsairs then closed out the Warriors, 25-21.
The Warriors, who were led by sophomore outside hitter Casey Wood's 15 kills, finished the second set with a 5-2 run after being tied with the Corsairs at 20-20. There were a total of 12 ties in that set and neither team had a lead larger than three points.
The Corsairs took a 19-13 lead in the third set, but the Warriors rallied back with a 9-3 run to tie it at 22-22. Santa Monica, however, won three of the last four points to win, 25-23.
The fourth set was another dog fight. There were eight ties, including one at 17-17, but the Corsairs finished on an 8-1 run to win the set, 25-18, and the match, 3-1.
All-State Tournament selection Daniel Vaziri led Santa Monica with 15 kills. Luis Palos, also and All-State Tournament selection, recorded seven kills and nine digs for the Corsairs.
This was also the Corsairs third win of the season over El Camino.
2015 All-State Tournament Team
Taylor Tattersall, Santa Monica (MVP)
Daniel Vaziri, Santa Monica
Luis Palos, Santa Monica
Cesar Medina, El Camino
Peter Nordel, El Camino
Andrew Freiha, Grossmont
Adrian Faitalia, Orange Coast
photo by David Pradel