Irvine Valley College’s men’s volleyball team failed to defend state title by falling to Long Beach City College on April 19 in their state semifinal match.
IVC went into the match on a five game winning streak and looking like they could win another state title but their season was ended after a tough four set match.
The Lasers traveled to Long Beach after defeating Moorpark College at home in four sets. Long Beach City College is currently the top ranked team in the state.
The first set was close with nine ties. After the score was tied at 20, the Vikings scored the last five points aided by a service error by freshman outside hitter Zak Beard and two blocks by Long Beach’s Aniefre Etim-Thomas. The Vikings won the first set 25-20.
Long Beach had a set point during the second set with the score at 24-22 but three straight hitting errors allowed the Lasers to crawl back and steal the set 26-24.
The third set was another close one at the beginning with the two teams once again tied at 11 but the Vikings went on a run to take a commanding 24-18 lead. The Lasers tried to climb back by winning the next three points but this lead was too much to come back from and the Lasers dropped the set 25-21.
IVC found themselves down again in the fourth set 19-12. The two teams exchanged points after that until Long Beach City won the set 25-19 and sent themselves to the state finals.
The Lasers hit a subpar .212 compared to the Vikings .316 hitting percentage. Long Beach City also held the advantage in the blocks category, out-blocking IVC 15-8.
Sophomore outside hitter Trevor Lund led the Lasers with 14 kills while the Vikings’ Rob McLean and Jo’Lon Clark both shared the lead for kills in the game with 16 each. Freshman defensive specialist contributed eight digs and sophomore setter Kevin Fiske had 42 assists for the Lasers.