From day one, the Lasers’ way of taking care of business has been taking care of their side of the net.
Adversity, such as Golden West College’s 2-1 lead in the Oct. 3 match, was pushed aside as Irvine Valley rallied from its first deficit of the season to defeat the No. 5 team in California in five games.
Odds, such as Fullerton College’s No. 2 ranking in the state, were defied as the Lasers pulled out a 3-2 comeback win Wednesday to jump from eighth to second in the state poll.Numbers, such as the Lasers’ 11-0 start to the season, were anything but distractions as the undefeated team continued to remain focused with Friday’s 3-0 sweep over Saddleback College, 30-21, 30-10, 30-22.
“I’ve never played with a team that’s had so much heart,” said IVC’s Chelsea Pavlik, who finished Friday with a team-high 23 kills, 17 digs and three aces. “We don’t have much height or size, but we play so well together.”
The Lasers, who started the season ranked No. 10, entered Friday’s match slightly less dominant than their current No. 2 standing suggests.
Despite Irvine’s inability to shake its visitors off its heals early, the Lasers repeatedly pounded out steady runs to pull ahead and close out the games.
“We’re just trying to stay level headed and not get a big head about it,” said Brooke Bryant, who dished out four aces. “We’ve never thought ‘we’re better than everyone else.’… We never expected it.”
The Lasers now sit atop the OEC with a 12-0 (5-0) record.With the loss, Saddleback’s record drops to 4-6 (1-4). The Gauchos will continue conference play Wednesday when they travel to Orange Coast College.
After a road match at Cypress (5-12, 1-4) on Wednesday, the Lasers will host the highly-anticipated match with back-to-back state champions and top-ranked team in California, Orange Coast (10-2, 4-1).
The Pirates, who started their season with a five game loss to Hope International, pulled out a 10-match win streak to remain at the top of the state rankings. On Friday, OCC lost both the streak and its No. 1 standing in the OEC with a 3-0 loss to Golden West.
The battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state will kick off at 6 p.m. at IVC.
“We just need to focus on us and not think about the big picture like ‘oh, it’s OCC,'” Bryant said. “We just need to focus on our side of the court and we’ll be fine.”