A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

Mt. SAC beach volleyball remains undefeated in official matches

There is still a long season ahead for SAC
Freshman+Candace+Ceballos+%2811%2C+right%29+making+a+diving+pass+for+her+sophomore+teammate+Zyra+Green+%285%2C+left%29+to+set+up+their+offense+on+serve+receive.
Robbie Doctor
Freshman Candace Ceballos (11, right) making a diving pass for her sophomore teammate Zyra Green (5, left) to set up their offense on serve receive.

On Friday, Feb. 2, Mt. SAC’s beach volleyball hosted one official match against the Orange Coast Pirates and another unofficial match against the four-year university Hope International Royals.

Although a matchup against a four-year is uncommon for SAC, head coach Samantha Neely said she scheduled the exhibition against the Royals so the team can gain valuable experience. The match is a good measuring stick to see where the team stacks up early on in the season. “Our goal is always to get better and better each week. It is a long season and we are focused on slow and consistent growth to peak when we need to for conference and playoffs,” Neely said.

Even though the weather forecasted cloudy with a chance of rain, the courts were dry and the sun shined for most of the matches.

Freshman Andrea Brewer (4) with the hustle play to keep the rally alive for her freshman teammate Naara Ortega (12, not pictured) against the Orange Coast Pirates. (Robbie Doctor)

To start their doubleheader, SAC swept the Orange Coast Pirates, 5-0. SAC registered three sweeps against the Pirates. The 1’s pair of sophomore Zyra Green (5) and freshman Candace Ceballos (11) beat freshmen Jordan Packer (11) and Lulu Utterback (22) in two sets, 21-17 and 22-20. The veteran 2’s pair of sophomores Liz Ortiz (21) and Capri Salmon (22) handily defeated the Pirates’s Kingsley Mason (20) and freshman Ellie Winter (2) in two sets, 21-9 and 21-8. Freshmen Freda Lei (13) and Eva Becerra (14) almost went to three sets against freshmen Reese Mercado (1) and Emily Ngo (5) but managed to close out the second set in a narrow 24-22 victory while handily winning the first set, 21-14.

Both the 3’s and 4’s pairs for SAC went to a decisive three sets but were able to finish off their opponents. The 3’s pair of freshmen Andrea Brewer (4) and Naara Ortega (12) took the first set by a score of 21-18, dropped the second set with a reverse score of 18-21 and clutched up a narrow 15-13 victory. For the 4’s pair of sophomore Kyra Miller (10) and freshman Jillian de Leon (2) like their teammates on 3’s, won a set and lost another with a flipped score before defeating their opponents in the third set with scores of 14-21, 21-14 and 15-9.

Sophomore Zyra Green (5) registering a kill off a hard-angled roll shot where the defense wasn’t positioned against the Orange Coast Pirates. (Robbie Doctor)

On their sweep of the Pirates, Neely was impressed with the victory. “We had a great 5-0 sweep against OCC; a team that historically brings a lot of beach experience to the table,” she said. “Our team has been training for 4 weeks now, and I was pleased with the improvement that was showcased in such a short amount of time from last week’s matches to this week’s.”

Next up for SAC were the Hope International Royals, a match in which they were swept 5-0.

Freshman Naara Ortega (12) read the back row attack from the Orange Coast Pirates perfectly to give freshman teammate Andrea Brewer (4, not pictured) a chance to set themselves up for a counter-offensive play. (Robbie Doctor)

Although SAC put up a valiant effort against a four-year university’s talent as the 2’s and 4’s pairs were able to push the Royals to three sets.

Salmon’s and Ortiz’s set was the most competitive of the five matches registering set scores of 21-19, 21-23 and 10-15.

On their performance against the Royals, Neely was happy the team took the challenge head on. “We enjoy the opportunity to get experience playing against 4-year schools in scrimmages like these,” she said. “We welcomed the challenge, and our pairs took a lot away from the match, including what needs to improve in the coming weeks and the confidence necessary to execute at a higher level.”

Sophomore Capri Salmon (22) with the successful diving saved pass to sophomore Liz Ortiz (21) who would go on to register a kill later on in the rally against the Hope International Royals. (Robbie Doctor)

Looking ahead to this week’s matchups on the road against the Golden West Rustlers and Cuesta Cougars, Neely expressed concern about the weather. “This week is going to be a rainy one, so we are looking to stay focused and have grit working through some weather conditions,” Neely said. “We practice rain or shine, as we will compete rain or shine on Friday against Golden West and Cuesta. There are no excuses in our program when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities to get better, regardless of the weather.”

Mt. SAC’s next home matchup will be against the Bakersfield Knights on Friday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m.

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Robbie Doctor, Managing Editor
Robbie Doctor is the Managing Editor.

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