The Orange Coast College women’s volleyball team’s season came to a sudden end in an upset defeat to Ventura College in the opening round of the Southern California Regional playoffs inside the Basil H. Peterson Gym on Nov. 20.
After beating the Ventura College Pirates in three sets back in August to open its season, Coast welcomed Ventura into its gym hoping for similar success.
Entering the match, the Orange Coast Pirates battled their way to a third place finish in the Orange Empire Conference and being rewarded with the eighth seed. Starting its season 5-3, the Ventura Pirates made the playoffs by being victorious in 12 of its final 13 matches.
The first of five sets in the almost two-and-a-half-hour match set the tone for the game, each team going back and forth all night long. Coast appeared to take a controlling lead of 22-20 in the opening set, but Ventura clawed right back in with three straight kills and an OCC hitting error to give the Ventura Pirates the first set point of the match and a 24-22 lead.
Coast rallied back when freshman outside hitter Kristi Black delivered one of her seven kills to bring OCC back within one point. Ventura would hold on to their lead and win the opening set because of a double-contact violation.
For Orange Coast, sophomore libero Rylee Adair broke another OCC record when she recorded 45 digs in a match.
Adair finishes her historic run at OCC with 579 digs this season, eclipsing over 1,000 digs for her career at Coast, the first women in Orange Coast College history to do so in a two-year career.
With multiple errors by Ventura, OCC was able to coast to a 25-16 win in set two, to tie the match up at one set apiece. Heading into an all-important third set, Coast was able to battle back from trailing 24-18 and took a controlling 2-1 set lead.
Freshman outside hitter Bailey Coffin lead the way in the third set for Coast, with two crucial blocks late in the set to give OCC its set win.
With its backs against the wall, Coast did everything it could to stay in the match, but Ventura proved to be too strong winning 28-26, forcing a fifth and decisive final set.
OCC took an early 6-2 lead in the fifth set only to watch Ventura score five straight points taking a 7-6 lead. The set went back and forth until back-to-back kills ended Coast’s season in its own gym.