Women’s volleyball team takes fifth place at SD tourney

The EC women’s volleyball team went into the San Diego Mesa Invitational knowing that this was its last chance to work out any problems before conference play starts; the Warriors also walked out of the invitational feeling like they can take on anybody, anywhere, any time.

The Warriors played a total of four games this past Friday and Saturday in San Diego and won three of their four games; beating Glendale College 3-1, losing to Bakersfield 3-2 and defeating both Long Beach and Pierce College 3-0.

“We focused on energy coming off of the loss to Bakersfield,” sophomore setter SueKalena Tafao said. “We all just brought positive energy to the court and won.”

The Warriors received news that they will be without their leader, sophomore outside hitter Nicole Echeverri, for the remainder of the season after x-rays revealed that Echeverri tore her ACL last week.

“It was really hard, sitting down watching everyone play,” Echeverri said. “Hopefully I’ll have a fast recovery after my surgery.”

Echeverri is expected to have surgery on Oct. 24, but will not be playing for the remainder of the season.

Different players are stepping up and working together in order to make up for their lack of size and strength with a brand of fast and scrappy volleyball; they are going after every ball and playing excellent defense.

“They’re doing a really good job,” coach Le Valley Pattison said. “We’re not huge, obviously, so they have to work really hard.”

Freshman outside hitter Darlene Lee has been one of the key players during Echeverri’s absence.

“I just want to be cooperative and help out the team,” Lee said.

Losing Echeverri has been a big blow to this team but it has brought the team together.

The Warriors begin their first match of conference play this Friday at 6 p.m. as they travel to Long Beach City College in what should be a heated rivalry game.

“We have two weeks before we play so that gives us time to make some improvements,” Pattison said.