El Camino beach volleyball team revs up for conference road matches

Sophomore+Michelle+Shimamoto+attacks+the+ball+during+practice+against+sophomore+Nina+Wyer+and+freshman+Melissa+Euyoque%2C+while+freshman+partner+Micah+Hammond+looks+on.%0AShimamoto+and+Hammond+make+up+the+No.+1+beach+volleyball+pair+for+the+El+Camino+Warriors.+Photo+credit%3A+Jorge+Villa

Sophomore Michelle Shimamoto attacks the ball during practice against sophomore Nina Wyer and freshman Melissa Euyoque, while freshman partner Micah Hammond looks on. Shimamoto and Hammond make up the No. 1 beach volleyball pair for the El Camino Warriors. Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Six of the top 10 teams in the state are all in one conference.

Three of them are facing off in a four-way tournament style match on Friday, and all four are looking to make strides toward first place in the Pacific Coast Conference.

The El Camino, MiraCosta, Rio Hondo and Long Beach City College’s beach volleyball teams will gear up for a tough day on the sand as LBCC hosts.

EC will face MiraCosta and Long Beach, while MCC and LBCC will play one match against El Camino and then play Rio Hondo.

RHC is in the same conference and based on record and strength of schedule can be considered a top 15, if not top 10, team.

Here are three important things to not for El Camino, MiraCosta and Long Beach.

Note: Rio Hondo will not be included because the Roadrunners will not face EC.

El Camino Warriors (9-1 overall, 1-1 in conference):

1) El Camino might just have the most balanced team in this three-way tournament, fielding a No. 1 and 2 pair that could both potentially make runs at the state individual tournament.

Sophomore Michelle Shimamoto and freshman Micah Hammond are looking to make a comeback after falling against Grossmont’s No. 1 pair last Friday.

While No. 2 pair of sophomores Taylor Brydon and Brooklyn Rubio look to continue their undefeated streak this season. The pair has not lost a single set, or match, so far.

“It feels good knowing we’re doing our job,” Brydon said.

The Warriors’ coaching staff is still unsure of what to do with its No. 5 pair.

There have been several changes to this pair and it could feature a multitude of combinations of Cassie Montani, Nina Wyer, Jolene St. Pierre, Melissa Euyoque and Glorious Owens.

Mira Costa College Spartans, currently second in the conference (9-2 overall, 2-0 in conference):

1) Costa has two losses against Concordia and CSU Bakersfield, both four-year universities.

In terms of record, the Spartans are undefeated against community college teams and with 2016 individual state-runner up Cady Francis leading seven other sophomores, the Spartans are in a good spot to make a run.

Head coach Doug Wright was contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline.

Long Beach City College Vikings, one of three undefeated team’s in the state (7-0 overall):

1) Misty May-Treanor.

The legend of Olympic Beach Volleyball is the new Director of Volleyball and beach volleyball head coach.

May-Treanor won three-straight gold medals along with former partner Kerri Walsh-Jennings in Athens, Greece (2004), Beijing, China (2008) and London, UK (2012).

LBCC wasn’t even an official team in 2016 and now the team is 7-0 and is could be a real contender for the Pacific Coast Conference title.

“We’re like the ‘Bad News Bears,'” LBCC head coach Misty May-Treanor said. “I took this job because I wanted to make an impact with these girls. It’s so rewarding to see the improvements they’ve made, especially after seeing them do things they didn’t think they could do.”