Warriors sweep away crosstown rivals


Freshman outside hitter Laynie Thompson leaps high into the air to set herself for spiking position.Photo credit: John Ruiz.

Once again, the brooms came out as the El Camino women’s volleyball team did what it has grown accustomed to. Sweeping the opposition and continuing their dominance in the South Coast Conference by defeating L.A. Harbor College last Friday.

The Warriors swept the Seahawks 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 27-25) and remained in control of their own fate within the conference. The Warriors are tied with Pasadena for the top spot, but should finish in first place if they win out or if Pasadena stumbles along the way.

“We know what’s going on but we need to win,” coach Le Valley Pattison said. “We are in control of our own destiny. We can’t rely on anyone else.”

The Seahawks were overwhelmed from the start, committing numerous errors and missed passes which just gave easy points to the Warriors. The match was over quickly after it had just started, lasting only a little over an hour just like the first encounter between these two teams.

“We focus on our game a lot, don’t worry about the score and just get our jobs done to eventually get that win,” freshman outside hitter Laynie Thompson said.

The first two sets of the match came easily for the Warriors, winning by scores of 25-21 and 25-16. Although it wasn’t until the third set of the match that the Seahawks started making some noise.

The Warriors found themselves behind several times throughout the match which eventually led to a 25-25 deadlock.

“Our team was playing a little hesitant and that’s usually not how we play,” sophomore setter SueKalena Tafao said. “But as long as we have each others backs, there’s no reason to get panicky.”

Despite the struggles toward the end of the match the Warriors were able to pull through thanks to a spectacular save by freshman outside hitter Darlene Lee. The Seahawks were threatening to take the lead with a hard hit that sent the ball sailing in the distance, but Lee sprinted after the ball, hit it backwards, over her head and kept in play long enough for the Warriors to take the lead and eventually the victory.

“We realized it was do or die in that moment and really pulled it together,” Thompson said. “Definitely wasn’t our best game but we stepped it up and played our game like we normally do.”
Tafao once again led the charge with 18 kills and 8 digs along with a dominant game from Lee who registered a double-double with 16 kills and 16 digs. Freshman middle blocker Kimberly Haney also had a strong evening with 9 kills, 6 digs and currently leads the conference in hitting percentage.

The Warriors only have 2 games remaining in the season with a road game against East L.A. College on Friday at 6 p.m. Although all signs are pointing to a potentially huge finale against Pasadena that could ultimately decide who is conference champion.

“We’re more ready to get through next week and play Pasadena,” Pattison said. “I don’t think they’re looking that far ahead yet.”