Volleyball continues perfect season

Sophomore outside hitter Jack Flynn and freshman middle blocker Will Anderson go up for a block in a recent game in the Basil H. Peterson Gym.

Orange Coast College’s top-ranked men’s volleyball team continues its perfect season after a sweep against No. 4 ranked Irvine Valley College inside the Basil H. Peterson Gym on Friday.

The Pirates rolled over the Lasers in three straight sets, winning 25-20, 25-13, 25-21. The team continues its impressive season as it improved to 18-0, 5-0 in Orange Empire Conference play.

Not only have the Pirates dominated OEC play by winning all 12 of its sets, the team has only dropped seven sets all season long.

“We were pretty efficient tonight, and I think when this team is efficient we’re tough to beat,” head coach Travis Turner said.

Sophomore Kyle McCauley lead the charge for the Pirates, adding nine kills, five digs and three blocks to his stats. McCauley leads OCC with 149 kills.

 The 6-foot-3-inch outside hitter will be taking his skills to UC San Diego next year after his two-year career at OCC comes to a close. McCauley leads the California Community College Athletic Association with a hitting percentage of .387. He also leads the state in service aces per set.  

Braden Neumann, a sophomore libero helped the Coast defense with a team-high eight digs, adding to his team-best 92 digs for the season. He will be transferring to the University of Jamestown in North Dakota to continue his athletic and academic career.

The Pirates made quick work of the Lasers by jumping ahead in the opening set 14-9. Kills by McCauley and freshman middle blocker Aiden Wolf-Nielsen propelled the Pirates to take the set 25-20.

Sophomore opposite hitter Garrett Halsey and sophomore outside hitter Jack Flynn provided momentum-killing blocks in the first set to seal Coast’s opening victory.

Mistakes from the top-five ranked Lasers let Coast go up 18-9 and get a nine-point advantage late in the second set. Coast dominated as they cruised past the Lasers 25-13 to go up two sets to none.

“We have a good group of older and younger guys. The freshman and sophomores both contributed tonight. It was a good night for us,” Turner said.

The Coast blocking unit continued to be a problem for its opponents, with 13 blocks by the team, led by Wolf-Nielsen, who had seven. He continues to be in the top five in blocks per set in the state.

Cleaner play from IVC made the third set a better matchup, but two blocks by McCauley and two kills by Halsey proved to be too much for the Lasers to handle. Halsey ended the night with eight kills.

OCC has three more conference matchups coming up before the playoffs start April 19.

Coast travels to Golden West in hopes to continue its perfect season today in a Coast district rivalry matchup starting at 6 p.m.   

The squad returns home on Friday at 6 p.m. against Santiago Canyon College to close out the regular season and for “Sophomore Night” which will honor the sophomores for their time and commitment to the program for the last two seasons.

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