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El Camino’s men’s volleyball team outlasts Santa Monica College in five-set thriller

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Throwing a two-set lead has to be demoralizing.

Well, how about throwing that lead when the game was in the bag.

Then you go into a fifth set to try and finish everything, and looking at your record in five-sets, you’re 0-2.

“(It’s about) keeping composure,” sophomore outside hitter and co-captain Chris Phanngam said. “We’re a young team, so we get a little antsy.”

The El Camino men’s volleyball team was ready to go into Friday’s match-up against Long Beach with hopes of potentially taking first place, instead the Warriors had to struggle to beat the Santa Monica Corsairs in five sets on Wednesday night.

The No. 5 ranked Warriors (10-6 overall, 4-1 in conference) took down the No. 4 ranked Santa Monica College Corsairs (12-5, 1-4) in five-thrilling sets on Wednesday’s final home-game and sophomore night.

Sophomore outside hitter Cesar Medina did his job in the clutch when the Warriors trailed 14-13 and it looked like the team the was about to lose another five-set match.

Medina ended a 15-second rally with a kill in the middle of the court to energize the crowd.

When his teammate served the ball on the next point, the visiting Santa Monica Corsairs decided to set their outside hitter Dane Pieper.

To no avail, Medina got up there and put up big hands for a massive solo block that gave the Warriors a 15-14 lead and eventually the win.

The El Camino men’s volleyball team was ready to go into Friday’s match-up against Long Beach with hopes of potentially taking first place, instead the Warriors had to struggle to beat the Santa Monica Corsairs in five sets on Wednesday night.

The No. 5 ranked Warriors (10-6 overall, 4-1 in conference) took down the No. 4 ranked Santa Monica College Corsairs (12-5, 1-4) in five-thrilling sets on Wednesday’s final home-game and sophomore night.

El Camino did its job to preserve a chance at the No. 6 seed in playoffs by outlasting the Corsairs, despite throwing a 2-0 lead to open the match.

“I was so nervous,” sophomore setter Pedro Campos said. “I was just thinking I can’t mess up, and usually when I think that, I mess up. But I didn’t today.”

Medina notched a very lackluster performance numbers wise, but made up for it with his 18 kills, three solo blocks and he accounted for 24 of his team’s 106 points.

While sophomore outside hitter PJ Tulikihihifo pumped out 16 of his own kills and four block assists to account for 21 of the team’s total points.

The Warriors head to Long Beach City College on Friday, and if the they can beat the Vikings they will earn a share of the conference title.

“We hadn’t beaten a team in five sets,” EC coach Dick Blount said. “I told the guys that before (set five), but now we control our fate on Friday.”

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The student news site of El Camino College
El Camino’s men’s volleyball team outlasts Santa Monica College in five-set thriller