State championship paves the way for L.A. Pierce to sit on top of final coaches poll

State tournament MVP Cole Chea helped lead L.A. Pierce to a CCCAA title and the No. 1 spot in the final coaches poll. (Photo by Richard Quinton)
State tournament MVP Cole Chea helped lead L.A. Pierce to a CCCAA title and the No. 1 spot in the final coaches poll. (Photo by Richard Quinton)

CCCMVCA Poll (PDF format)

IRVINE, Calif. - Big things were expected from LA Pierce when the 2018 men’s volleyball season got underway. And after a slow start, the Brahmas played better than any other team to finish, winning 10 straight matches to close the year and capture the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship last weekend in Fullerton.

Pierce swept top-ranked Long Beach City, 25-12, 25-20, 25-19, in the state semifinal and then beat No. 2 Orange Coast in four sets, 25-22, 17-25, 31-29, 25-21, to take the championship.

And so Pierce, which started 2018 ranked second and fell to as far as No. 9 at one point during the season, finishes the year as the No. 1 team in the final California Community College Men’s Volleyball Coaches Association State Poll.

The Brahmas saw their overall record slip to 4-6 after losing at Irvine Valley in four sets on Mar. 7.

But Pierce didn’t fall again. The Brahmas’ 10-match, season-ending win streak included a 6-0 mark to take the Western State Conference – North Division title. Pierce dropped just five sets over its 10-match streak.

Cole Chea led the way in the title match against Orange Coast, finishing with 21 kills for coach Lance Walker’s squad. Maximilian Petuhov added 12 kills and 12 digs and Bernardo Rose had 48 assists in the title triumph.

After making the state final, Orange Coast stayed at No. 2 in the rankings. The Pirates, who won the Orange Empire Conference, ended the year with a record of 20-3 with their only losses coming to Long Beach City (twice) and Pierce.

Long Beach City dropped from first to third in the final poll after losing in the semifinals to Pierce in three sets. The Vikings won 20 straight matches before falling to the Brahmas. The other state semifinalist, Irvine Valley, ended the year ranked fourth, with Fullerton as No. 5. Fullerton, which ended the year 11-8 overall, was knocked out of the playoffs by Pierce in the quarterfinals.

The rest of the top 10 included El Camino at sixth, Santa Barbara City at No. 7, Moorpark and Santa Monica tied at eighth and Miramar, which won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference at No. 10.

CCCMVCA State Poll (Final)  
RK School Record
1. L.A. Pierce 14-6
2. Orange Coast 20-3
3. Long Beach City 20-1
4. Irvine Valley 16-6
5. Fullerton  11-8
6. El Camino  10-7
7. Santa Barbara City  12-6
T8. Moorpark  8-9
T8. Santa Monica  8-7
10. San Diego Miramar  8-7

(Brent Shaver, Irvine Valley College Athletics)