Five-set thriller ends in El Camino women’s volleyball team taking down conference-rival Long Beach City College

The crowd was wild and there was no lack of fans for the home or away teams. The 2016 men’s volleyball state champions were in attendance cheering on Sarah Miller and the No. 13 ranked Long Beach City Vikings.

El Camino improved to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in conference, while Long Beach falls to 10-3 and 3-1, following the thrilling five-set match (16-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-21, 16-14) that ended in the Warriors’ favor on Friday night.

The El Camino women’s volleyball team went down 2-7 in the fifth set before head coach Le Valley Pattison took a timeout.

Sophomore Taylor Brydon said Pattison told them to “keep working hard, get to your spot and keep your head up.”

Things seemed to work out just fine as the Warriors ran the table to take a 9-8 lead, and it was close the rest of the way. Back-and-forth the points went, no team was giving up and the Vikings ended up the beneficiaries of a couple of “terrible calls,” as the crowd and bench were livid.

But it wasn’t over, El Camino’s freshman outside hitter Jaylin Motley tied the match with a kill, 14-14.

The Long Beach bench was in shock when its next attack was too far giving EC its own match point.

On the very next play the Vikings went to the middle, but Brydon and sophomore middle blocker Victoria Curtice were having none of that. The pair jumped up for the game-ending double-block.

“It’s the most amazing feeling,” Curtice said. “It’s one of the main reasons why I love playing volleyball. Knowing that nobody can get around (your block) and the ball just hits the floor and makes that nice loud (bang), it’s perfect.”

The double-block wasn’t the normal blocking assignment for both Curtice and Brydon, who are normally in the middle and the right side respectively.

“We were told to switch in the middle (of the play),” Brydon said. “And we did it. It’s amazing when things work out like that.”

Pattison and the Warriors have not lost a match against South Coast Conference opponents since 2013, but with the addition of Misty May-Treanor to the LBCC side, the Vikings gave EC a run for its money.

“They drastically improved I think,” Pattison said. “They tooled our block until we almost cried, but our (team) rose to the occasion and made some plays when it counted.”

Stat leaders:

  • Long Beach’s Sarah Miller led all players with 29 kills, Brydon had 16 to lead El Camino.
  • Miller and El Camino’s libero Michelle Shimamoto had a match-high 20 digs.
  • The Vikings’ setter Mary McBride had 53 assists on the night, while the Warriors’ Megan Lim had 37.
  • The Warriors out-blocked the Vikings 10-2 on the night.