IRVINE, Calif. - Conference races start to be up for grabs this week, but there is one team that hasn't been caught yet in the California Community College Men's Volleyball Coaches Association State Poll.
Long Beach City was once again the unanimous pick for the No. 1 position in the poll. The Vikings, who have been ranked first for seven straight weeks, improved their record to 13-0 overall with a four-set win at a gritty Fullerton team last Wednesday night. Long Beach came out on top, 25-16, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19. It was just the third time this season that a team took a set off of the Vikings. LBCC has 10 sweeps on the season.
Orange Coast remained No. 2 in the poll with two more wins last week to improve its record to 11-2 on the year. OCC has won six matches in a row. The team swept Santa Barbara City, 25-18, 25-19, 25-16, last Wednesday at home and then started Orange Empire Conference play with a 25-22, 25-23, 25-18 victory on the road at Golden West on Friday. Zane Moothart had nine kills and hit .500, Clark Steele contributed eight kills, Will Donald had seven kills in eight swings with five blocks and Colby Elder and Jacob Gilliam had 20 and 16 assists, respectively in the win for the Pirates.
Irvine Valley stayed at third in the rankings after splitting matches last week. The Lasers (8-2) defeated LA Pierce, 25-22, 26-28, 25-20, 25-27, in a tough match at home on Wednesday. Matt August, who leads the state in hitting percentage and blocks, had 11 kills and 10 blocks and Sean Carroll chipped in 10 kills and seven digs for IVC. The Lasers then had their eight-match win streak snapped with a four-set loss to Blizzard Volleyball on Friday at home. August did have 13 kills and 13 blocks for IVC in the loss.
Santa Barbara City (8-3) remained at No. 4 in this week's poll. The Vaqueros had a busy week with three matches and went 2-1. SBCC lost at Orange Coast on Wednesday, but then bounced back with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-17 win at Santiago Canyon on Friday and then a 25-19, 25-22, 25-23 win over Grossmont at home on Saturday. In the win on Saturday, Haward Gomes had 15 kills and hit .565 and Kyle Skinner finished with 14 kills, seven digs and hit .522 for Santa Barbara City.
This week's No. 5 spot is shared by El Camino and Santa Monica. Both teams had last week off, but open Western State Conference – South Division action this Friday against each other at El Camino in one of the matches of the week.
Fullerton, Moorpark, Pierce and Golden West round out the rest of this week's top 10 state coaches poll. No. 7 Fullerton plays at ninth-ranked Golden West in a big contest on Friday night.
Moorpark won both of its matches last week, taking down Golden West in four sets on the road on Wednesday and then sweeping Palomar at home on Friday. Brent Rasmussen had 11 kills, 12 digs and hit .471 to pace Moorpark in the win over Palomar.
|CCCMVCA State Poll (Mar. 13)|
|1.||Long Beach City||13-0|
|4.||Santa Barbara City||8-3|
|Others receiving votes: none.|
(Brent Shaver, Irvine Valley Athletics)