Lasers sweep in conference opener

Cerise Ostrem

For the Irvine Valley men’s volleyball team, Friday’s 30-19, 30-20, 30-19 sweep of visiting San Diego Mesa College was as much a warm up for Golden West and Orange Coast this week as it was its fourth victory in a row.

The Pacific Coast Conference opener was also an opportunity for the Lasers (6-1, 1-0) to rest their starters and test their bench.

They may need all the depth they can get for Wednesday’s road match at Golden West and Friday’s home match against Orange Coast.

“[This] week is huge,” said coach Tom Pestolesi. “We will either be in a really good position or a not so good position.”

Even without the services of starters Tim Golden (knee injury)  and Reese Haine (illness), Pestolesi’s team was in a good position against the Olympians.

Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Suttich had 12 kills on only 14 attempts. Sophomore Peter Johnson had seven kills and freshman Nick Martus finished with seven blocks.

“We feel where we should be right now, but we have to kick it up a notch [this] week,” Pestolesi said. “This is when it really matters.”

Irvine Valley tied Orange Coast for the conference championship last season, but was awarded the No. 1 seed in the playoffs by merit of beating the Pirates twice during the regular season to earn the tie-breaker. The Lasers didn’t meet the Pirates in the playoffs on their road to a state championship.


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