Hailey Jones celebrates after the Lasers score during the third set of their win over Mt. San Antonio College. (Michael Grennell)
The Irvine Valley College women’s volleyball team advanced to the second round of the Southern California Regional playoffs on Tuesday, after sweeping the visiting Mt. San Antonio College Mounties in three sets (25-19, 25-12, 25-20).
The Lasers easily took the first two sets, before the Mounties jumped out to a 6-1 lead to begin the third set. IVC quickly rallied to take the lead from Mt. San Antonio, and went on to take the third set to complete the sweep.
Freshman Annie Mitchem led the Lasers with 11 kills and seven blocks in the win. It was her fourth consecutive game with double-digit kills, and her seven blocks were the most in a game for her since she recorded 15 in a four set win at Golden West College on Oct. 25.
The win marked the eighth time in the last nine years that the Lasers advanced to the second round of the Southern California Regionals. Last season IVC was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by El Camino College in a five-set loss (17-25, 25-22, 25-19, 18-25, 13-15).
The Lasers will face off against No. 8 Fullerton College at home Saturday night. This will be the first time that the Lasers and the Hornets will meet in the playoffs. Fullerton College narrowly defeated No. 8 Los Angeles Pierce College on Tuesday in a five-set match (25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-11) to advance to the second round.
The winner of Saturday’s playoff will advance to the third round and take on the winner of the Santa Barbara City College-Pasadena City College match on Tuesday night. The winner of the third round match will advance to the State Championships, to be held at Foothill College Dec.7-8.