OCC women’s volleyball drops conference game to Cypress

OCC outside hitter Britta Zapata-Reaves attempts a spike in the second set of the game against Cypress College on Wednesday.


The Orange Coast College Pirates looked to end Cypress College’s undefeated conference run on Wednesday. However, the Chargers, who had not lost a single set since Sept. 24, played up to their reputation in a back-and-forth four-set match against the second-place OCC.

The Pirates lost to Cypress College 3-1 at home on Wednesday, ending their 7-0 run inside Peterson Gym this season.

“They were serving tough at us, and our serve receive wasn’t the best today,” OCC outside hitter and team captain Sara Enright said. “It comes down to us [having to] play as a team instead of as individuals.”

There was no immediate differentiator between the Chargers and Pirates early in the first set, but after Cypress tied the game 23-23, two major sequences cost OCC the opening round. First, the Pirates decided to make a play on a ball that was heading out of bounds, and it ultimately lost them a crucial score — going down 24-23 for a match-point. To win the set, Cypress libero Zoe Munn made an outstanding dig, and the Chargers would recover to win the first round 25-23.

Utilizing a few setter attacks, the Chargers were able to take a comfortable 8-4 lead early in the second set before the Pirates could adjust and come right back to tie things up at nine a piece. Not long after, OCC found itself down 15-12, but went on an uncontested seven-point run to take the lead, 19-15. OCC libero Emily Payne was facilitating the offense well in this set, calling for balls, setting up spikes, and willing the Pirates to a 25-18 win in the second set.

Tied 1-1, the third set of the match was for the taking. Ties in the score at 6, 11, 18, 20 and 24 points opened up a dramatic win-by-two scenario to decide who would take the lead in the match. The Chargers took a timeout to gather their breath, and it paid off as they won the next two points in a row, earning the ever-decisive third set. 

“We were up 16-12 and let them go on a six-point run,” Enright said. “It wasn’t the best for us, but we had to come back and find a way.”

Unfortunately for OCC, the offensive rhythm was never the same after going down 2-1 in the game, and Cypress made quick work of the Pirates in the fourth and final set. A 5-0 run late in the round gave the Chargers the separation needed to close out the match comfortably, ending the game on the largest margin of the night, 25-17.

Cypress (16-1, 8-0) extended their win streak to 15 games on Wednesday, and issued OCC (12-2, 5-2) its second conference loss of the season.

The Pirates will have to adjust quickly, as Saddleback College (8-4, 4-3) comes to town on Friday at 6 p.m. for another conference matchup.

“We have to come in with a fresh mindset,” Enright said. “It’s a completely different game on Friday, and I think our minds are there and we are leaving this loss in the past."

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