Men’s volleyball poised for deep playoff run

The OCC men’s volleyball team hoists its seventh state championship trophy to end 2017.

The defending state champion Orange Coast College men’s volleyball team are off to a great start, looking to repeat last season’s successes.

Coast swept all three of its matches last weekend in the Cal Lutheran Tournament. The Pirates have won three straight games and have found form after their uncharacteristic start to the season.

OCC’s 21-match win streak, which dates back to last season, came to an end against Long Beach City College on Jan. 27, after the Pirates were swept 3-0 for the first time since 2015.

The team lost critical talent from last season, which may have caused the slight blip and lack of cohesion early on.

“One of our best guys transferred out, so timing was not really good,” team head coach Travis Turner said. “But at OCC it’s also our job to help kids transfer out. That’s what we do.”

Turner, however, is pleased with his current squad. He values the balance of talent at his disposal for this season.

“We have a mix of older guys and young guys,” Turner said. “Older guys with good experience and leadership and young guys that are good and learning.”

Pirates sophomore outside hitter Matthew Johnson, who played in all 22 games last season, recognizes what it takes to re-harness the successes of last season.

“The biggest difficulty in this transition is to have everyone jell together,” Johnson said. “Last year we had very good work ethic. Everybody came to the gym every single day and worked hard no matter what. So we just have to work as hard as we can to go for another championship.”

OCC looks to bolster its 4-1 start when they host Los Angeles Pierce College at the OCC Gymnasium tonight at 6 p.m.

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