Season coming down the homestretch and Vikings are still in the lead

El Camino men's volleyball is ranked fourth in this week's (April 9) poll.
El Camino men's volleyball is ranked fourth in this week's (April 9) poll.

IRVINE, Calif. - There is a week to go in the regular season. And Long Beach City College is still the dominant team in the state. For the 11th straight week, the Vikings are at the top of the 2018 California Community College Men's Volleyball Coaches Association State Poll.

Long Beach City earned first place votes from all coaches once again this week.

The Vikings, who have a record of 17-0 overall, moved to 4-0 and clinched at least a share of the Western State Conference – South Division title with a sweep of LA Trade Tech last Friday. Marques Buggs had 14 kills, Robert Oliver added 13 kills and Melbe Perez had 42 assists in the victory for LBCC. Long Beach City ends the regular season with two tough matches, playing at Santa Monica on Wednesday and then hosting El Camino on Friday. Santa Monica took a set off of LBCC the first time the two teams met and El Camino pushed Long Beach City to five before the Vikings came out on top.

But there were some changes among the Top 10 in other spots this week.

Long Beach State has been on top, but Orange Coast (16-2, 6-0) has been No. 2 for just about as long in the state poll. The Pirates have won 11 straight matches. The Pirates defeated Fullerton in five sets for the second time this season last Friday, winning, 25-10, 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-5, at home. OCC has all but wrapped up the Orange Empire Conference title. The Pirates have a big match at Irvine Valley on Wednesday and then play host to Santiago Canyon on Friday.

Irvine Valley and El Camino flip-flopped again this week. Irvine Valley (14-4, 4-2) moved from fourth to third and El Camino (9-5, 2-2) dropped from third to fourth.

The Lasers got standout middle blocker Matt August back in the lineup last Friday night and rallied to beat Golden West, 25-16, 21-25, 24-26, 25-11, 15-11, on the road. Patrick Furlong had 17 kills, Sean Carroll and August each finished with 14 kills and Austin McBain had 57 assists in the win for Irvine Valley.

El Camino lost in three sets at Santa Monica last Friday, 25-22, 25-18, 25-21. The Warriors hit just .222 in the match. El Camino will try and bounce back this week as it finishes the regular season with a home match against Trade Tech on Wednesday and then a big conference match for seeding on Friday at Long Beach City.

Fullerton (11-6, 5-2) moved up another spot this week and now sits at fifth. The Hornets are tied for second in the Orange Empire Conference with Irvine Valley and Fullerton hosts the Lasers on Friday in its lone match of the week. Fullerton won in five at IVC two weeks ago.

Pierce moved up from seventh to sixth in this week's poll and still leads the Western State Conference – North Division at 4-0. Santa Barbara City is at seventh with Santa Monica eighth, Moorpark ninth and San Diego Miramar at 10th. Miramar has clinched the title in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and has won nine matches in a row.

(Brent Shaver, Irvine Valley College Athletics)

CCCMVCA State Poll (April 9)  
Rk School Record
1. Long Beach City 17-0
2. Orange Coast  16-2
3. Irvine Valley 14-4
4. El Camino  9-5
5. Fullerton  11-6
6. L.A. Pierce  9-6
7. Santa Barbara City  11-4
8. Santa Monica  7-6
9. Moorpark  7-8
10. San Diego Miramar  10-7
Others receiving votes: Golden West