The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Santa Barbara men’s volleyball stamps out El Camino

Vaqueros outside hitter Cole Richards (left) and middle blocker Sean Ortiz (right) after the warriors scored to tie the game in the second set on March 15 at the ECC Gym Complex. Santa Barbara defeats El Camino for their second win in a row 6-4. (Jesse Chan | The Union)

El Camino College’s injury-plagued men’s volleyball team dropped their fourth straight game in a difficult matchup against the Santa Barbara Vaqueros on March 15, extending its losing streak.

After losing at Santa Monica 3-2 in its previous match, the Warriors attempted to position themselves to win following a highly competitive opening set against the Vaqueros where they led in kills 14-18 before costly mistakes.

However, with multiple players off the court, the Warriors have been struggling to compete as a unit; attempting to establish their rhythm.

Outsider hitter Jake Suson led the team with 18 kills on 40 swings while fellow teammate Daniel Reilly had five kills on 21 swings, the second-highest on the team.

The Warriors were nonetheless competitive throughout the game despite losing all three sets, frequently exchanging blows with the Vaqueros.

“Our coach kept saying one point is one point, just forget about it,” Suson said. “We made some stupid mistakes, just forget about it. All we need to do is go for the next one.”

Shaking off the sluggish play, Suson looks ahead as to what the Warriors can do in the long run.

“Some things we are going to definitely improve on is definitely our passing and hopefully having some of our players,” Suson said. “Everyone is kind of injured and dead right now.”

The Vaqueros’ ability to fight off the Warriors’ attempts in the second and third sets, winning 25-22 and 25-20 respectively, was largely due to a strong comeback after a slow start.

Vaqueros outside hitter Cole Richards left his stamp on the game finishing with 12 kills on 21 swings while being complemented by Troy Fitzgerald’s seven kills on 16 swings.

“Because of the comeback, it’s almost like the next sets and the next plays you’ve gotta have the mentality we can come back,” Richards said. “The biggest thing that helped us is focusing on our side of the court first,”

Vaqueros middle blocker, Sean Ortiz views the outcome of the game as an opportunity for his squad to build on the momentum.

“The wins are good momentum and confidence boosters, but really, it’s a good way to keep us going and know what we have to work on,” Ortiz said. “I think it all just builds off of each other.”

For the Warriors, the plan is to compete at their highest level regardless of who is on the floor.

“We’re still pushing through, working hard,” Suson said. “It doesn’t matter; even if we’re hurt, we’ll try as hard as we can.”

The Warriors (3-7) head away to face the Long Beach Vikings (9-1) on Wednesday, March 22 with the first serve starting at 6 p.m.

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