Santa Clarita, Calif. – The only thing that rang thicker through Cougar Gym than the celebratory yell of the encircled Irvine Valley starters was the essence of Lasers comradery.
Irvine’s energy represented by the spontaneous mid-game exclamation left College of the Canyons without an answer to their non-conference opponents as the Lasers battled the hard points with high fives to clinch their third straight win, 3-0, Sept. 7.
“When teams have good comradery, well, look at what we did tonight,” said IVC’s returning sophomore Brooke Bryant. “You just have so much tenacity and everything’s up. You fight for your teammates, not for yourself.”
While a fighting spirit was on the Lasers’ side Friday night, numbers weren’t. With only four players on the bench and missing starter Jamie Lyons, the Lasers gutted their way to the 30-21, 30-23, 30-26 victory.
“That’s a sheer heart win right there,” said Lasers assistant coach Jay Hosack. “That had nothing to do with us being better hitters or better servers or anything, just pure heart. That was a great win for us.
“This team this year, although they’re young, the personality that seems to be evolving is that they’re scrappy,” Hosack continued. “They’re going to out-hustle anybody that they play against.”
While all the games started close, Irvine repeatedly took control within the first ten sets to keep the Cougars at bay. It was only in game three that Canyons saw an opportunity to take a game from the Lasers, who have only given up one game this season.The Cougars’ fifth service error of the game gave IVC a 28-19 advantage, but the host team refused to yield the final two points. College of the Canyons nailed out a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to two.
“We get so excited that we forget that the game’s not over yet,” said Lasers outside hitter Chelsea Pavlick, who led the night with 13 kills and two aces.
Seemingly unjolted by the narrowing score, the Lasers zapped back to their feet to close out the match in two final sets.”They look around at each other when they’re on the court, and there’s never a moment when they’re kind of scared,” Hosack said. “They keep focused, saying, ‘we’ve got the next one.’ They feed off each other and it’s really neat to see. “
Camryn Torromeo ended the night with five kills and three aces in the sweep. Setter Kelly Keating contributed another trio of aces.
IVC will look to preserve its perfect 3-0 record at home against a 1-1 Citrus squad. The two teams will meet in the non-conference match Wednesday, Sept 12 at 5 p.m.
“When you’re on a team, its ten times more fun when you get along and cheer, and it gets us fired up to play like ten times better,” Pavlick said.