Women’s volleyball team wins rivalry game against Long Beach


Jaylin Motley (No. 21) falls to the ground with her teammate Aiko Waters as the Warriors celebrate the victory and the conference title, their 8th consecutive. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

There was a different vibe in the EC South Gym on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and everyone could tell.

EC Athletic Director Colin Preston handed fans T-shirts before the game that read “Spike the Vikes” on the back.

The conference title was on the line for the Warriors, and so was their streak of seven consecutive conference titles. Audience members in the South Gym were rowdy and anxious for a Warrior victory.

The crowd in the EC South Gym was rowdy and fired up the entire night. Fans were doing backflips and chanting, “I believe that we will win” with passion. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

Emotions ran high on both sides in a match that saw the El Camino Warriors beat their rivals, the Long Beach Vikings in four sets.

Songs such as “No Problem” by Chance the Rapper and “Jersey” by Future echoed in the gym, and they got the players singing along and in a good mood during practice.

Despite the upbeat atmosphere, the Warriors and Vikings practiced hard due to the fact that this was a rivalry game.

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Aiko Waters gets some spikes in before the game against Long Beach. She ended up with 19 kills in the game. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

If the Warriors won, they would have the opportunity to share the conference title with the Vikings with another win on Tuesday, Nov. 14. If Long Beach won, they would own the conference title and stop a seven-year conference title streak by EC.

“I think we’re all anxious about that game,” outside hitter Jaylin Motley said weeks before the match, “We will absolutely beat them.”

During the first set, the Warriors took an early lead due to kills by outside hitters Aiko Waters and Motley.

The Vikings began to rally midway through, but the Warriors got back on track after a timeout. Kills by Waters and Jerephina Leilua won the set for the Warriors 25-19.

“Aiko stayed in the entire match, never came out,” Motley said. “She kept her energy and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

The second set was a complete back-and-forth between both teams. Whenever the Vikings took the lead, the Warriors stormed right back. Due to two spurts of three-point runs, the Warriors ran ahead and won the set 25-19.

Coming out of the break and going into the third set, the Vikings looked like a completely different team, starting the set on a 6-0 run. The Vikings ended up winning the set by a score of 25-15.

Vikings players celebrate their victory in the third set against El Camino. They dominated all throughout the set and refused to let EC catch up. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

“We (kind of) picked it up in game three,” Long Beach assistant coach Devon Taylor said. “Figured a few things out, subbed some people out, put some new people in.”

In the fourth set, the crowd got loud once more and the Warriors picked up their game.

The Warriors took the late lead due to kills by Waters and blocks at the net by Renee Brydon. The 24th point earned by EC in the fourth set fired up the Warriors and the crowd more than any point had in the entire game.

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Waters is drained after winning the 24th point in fourth set, but her teammates are fired up from being one point away from another conference title. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

Leilua got the kill to end the fourth set that the Warriors won 25-21.

The crowd erupted and P.A. announcer Tom Hazell’s voice cracked as he called, “Point, El Camino.”

Fans rushed onto the court to celebrate with the team. Motley and Waters felt to their knees after the victory while their teammates celebrated with the fans.

“That (game) was everything I thought it’d be,” Motley said after the victory. “I feel amazing. I’m on top of the moon right now and I couldn’t have asked more from my team.”

The assistant coach for Long Beach recognized EC’s improvement since the last game despite losing the game.

Distraught after losing the game, the Long Beach Vikings walk to the net to congratulate the Warriors on their victory as well as a shared conference title. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

“I want to say El Camino played a really great game,” Taylor said. “They just did a lot more things than they did the last time, that kind of shook us. Kudos to them.”

The victory against Long Beach means that El Camino has won eight consecutive conference titles.

“2009 was the last time we didn’t win it last,” EC head coach Liz Hazell said. “Quite the legacy to try to live up to there.”

Motley and Waters led the offense with 13 and 19 kills respectively. Waters’ 19 kills were tied for most in the game with Long Beach freshman Josannah Vazquez.

Hazell appreciated how her team responded after losing the third set to Long Beach.

“We had a little passing breakdown in game three and I like that we responded and came back strong in game four,” Hazell said. “The pressure was on them (in the third set), we were up two games to none.”

For this game, freshman Keily Morimoto decided to honor her friend.

Freshmen Keily Morimoto wore special socks in the game against Long Beach. They read, “JB 12” on the outside of the sock. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen

“This past weekend, my friend passed away in a car accident. To honor him, I made these socks and I put his name and number on it,” Morimoto said. “He actually played basketball here a few years ago but once a Warrior, always a Warrior.”

The Warriors will conclude their season on Tuesday, Nov. 14, against L.A. Harbor College at the EC South Gym.

Click here to look at tweets that were sent out during the game.

Editor’s Note: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 11:15 a.m. Factual errors corrected. The Warriors did not win their conference with this victory.