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ELAC vs. Pasadena City College
(Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

ELAC falls at home to Pasadena in showdown

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — The Huskies women’s volleyball team lost to Pasadena City College 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-19) in a battle for sole possession of first place in the South Coast Conference North Division.

The Huskies put up a valiant effort despite being without their top all-around player who is injured, sophomore outside hitter Yicel Quintero (South Gate High School).

Pasadena moves into sole possession of the SCC North while ELAC drops into second place. ELAC is still in the hunt for a conference crown, mathematically. Pasadena ended ELAC’s three-game win streak.

SET 1: In the closest set of the night, the Huskies rallied mid-set to almost tie Pasadena, down 13-12. After Pasadena outscored ELAC 4-2, for a 17-14 lead, ELAC returned the favor with a 4-2 run aided by two powerful kills by sophomore middle hitter Daija Walton. After Pasadena went ahead 23-19, ELAC closed the gap to 23-21 on a kill from freshman middle hitter Kayla Dickerson (Bell Gardens HS) and a service ace by outside hitter Arianna Gomez (California HS). Pasadena closed out with a 25-21 first-set win.

SET 2: Pasadena opened with a 6-0 lead. ELAC responded with four straight points including a service ace from freshman setter Samantha Villareal (Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary HS) that stirred up the crowd. The Huskies surrendered a 5-0 run which ended on a kill by Dickerson. Pasadena increased its lead to 17-8 that followed with two ELAC kills, the first from Walton through two Pasadena blockers and the latter by freshman outside hitter Ryley Rhamy (California HS). ELAC was down 17-10.

The Huskies defense left too many holes open, which Pasadena took advantage of resulting with a 24-13 lead. ELAC staved off six set points down 24-13. The streak got the boisterous crowd involved after each ELAC point that included kills from freshman right setter Jimena Gonzalez Robles and Villareal sandwiched with a service ace from sophomore right side hitter Rachel Cruz (Garfield HS). Down 24-19, the Huskies served into the net for a service error and Pasadena won the second-set match.

Set 3: The third set had 9 lead changes and 9 ties that kept the crowd on its feet at times chanting ‘Huskies-Huskies’. After a kill from Walton that put ELAC up 18-15, Pasadena regrouped and outscored ELAC 10-3 to take the game, set and match.

In other SCC North action, Mt. San Antonio College turned the tables on Rio Hondo College with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-18) win. Rio Hondo (4-9, 1-0) shutout Mt. SAC in the first round of North play 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-19). Chaffey College had a bye.

PAW TRACKS: With Quintero out, several Huskies stepped up with top stats from the defense from freshman right side hitter Jimena Gonzalez Robles (Lynwood HS) who was a wall at the net with a game-high 4 blocked shots. Blocking two shots each were sophomore middle hitter Gisele Arredondo (South Gate HS) and Walton. Defensive specialist / Libero Victoria “Tori” Trejo-Garcia (Downey HS) led in digs with nine. Villareal had seven. Cruz had five digs with two of them diving as she landed on the floor to the loud approval of the home crowd.

On offense, ELAC totaled 24 kills with Dickerson hitting a team-high 12 with a clip of.212. Gomez served two service aces and Villareal had a team-high 18 assists.

UP NEXT: A playoff spot is on the line for three SCC North teams, Pasadena (10-11, 4-1), ELAC (12-9, 3-2) and Chaffey College (13-8, 2-2). Each team controls their destiny. If ELAC wins out and Chaffey defeats Pasadena next week ELAC could tie for the conference title.

In order for that to happen, ELAC must first win a match at Chaffey next Wednesday with a 6 p.m. start time, with a possible SCC North title and/or playoff spot on the line.

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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia