All 5 OCC pairs advance to Round of 16 in OEC tournament for first time

OCC sophomore Lexy Mendoza, freshman Natalia Brandlin, sophomore Jesse Coralle and freshman Rose Whitter (left to right) face off in a match up against each other on Wednesday at Irvine Valley College for their spot in the OEC Round of 16 pairs tournament on Mar. 28.  

The Orange Coast College beach volleyball team had all five pairs advance to the Round of 16 during the opening 32 rounds of the Orange Empire Conference Pairs Championships on Wednesday, Mar. 26 at Irvine Valley College.

“This is the first time we’ve had all five teams advance to the second day,” head coach Chuck Cutenese said. 

OCC's first pair, sophomores Brisa Zapata-Reaves and Corinne Williams won their match against IVC with a final score of 21-13 and 21-1.

The freshman pair of Natalia Brandlin and Rose Whitter won their match against Fullerton College with a score of 21-13 and 21-6. 

Sophomore Lexy Mendoza and sophomore Jesse Coralle  defeated OCC’s own Brandlin and Whitter with a score of 21-13 and 21-6 in a match-up leading up to the Round of 16.

The third pair, sophomore Paige Cutwright and freshman Alexandra Selivanov also secured a spot in the Round of 16 with their win against Fullerton College with a score of 21-10 and 21-7.

Freshman duo Kingsley Mason and Leah Thibault won two of three sets against Cypress College with scores of 17-21, 21-14 and 15-11. 

Lastly, sophomore Izzy Duchaine and freshman Theresia Amtmann competed in a play-in match first and won against Santa Ana College 21-16 and 21-13 before winning again in the Round of 32 against Cypress College’s top pair with a final score of 21-11, 17-21 and 16-14.

“What helped a lot is that when we were down, we didn’t give up,” Cutenese said. “There were multiple times when we were down but the team kept fighting and pushing and we ended up winning.”

All five pairs from OCC will head into the Top 16 bracket on Friday, where single elimination matches will be held to determine a single victor for the OEC pairs tournament at IVC. 

“This late in the season, at the end of the year, to see your team fighting when we’re tired and it’s hot, it’s really good to see,” Cutenese said.

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