Men’s volleyball team headed to state final after comeback win over Grossmont

Warriors middle blocker Peter Nordel spikes the ball past Grossmont College middle blocker Andres Verjan during the third set of the state semi finals on Thursday evening. The Warriors defeated the Griffins 3-2 at San Diego City College. The Warriors will play Santa Monica College on Saturday for the state championship. Photo credit: John Fordiani

Back-to-back kills gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead in the fifth set and forced a Griffins timeout.

6-1 became the score for the Warriors and another timeout was taken by Grossmont, leaving them with zero for the rest of the match.

Still, the break did nothing as the Warriors pushed the lead to 8-2 and the teams swapped sides. The Griffins could do nothing at the hands of the merciless visitors who plucked the wings off their backs and finished them off 15-4.

The No. 1 seed of the Pacific Coast Conference, the Grossmont Griffins, hosted the EC Warriors, No. 2 seed of the Western State Conference, on Thursday night. The Warriors came back to beat the Griffins 3-2 in sets.

The win advances the Warriors to the state championship match against Santa Monica College on Saturday.

To read about the Warriors’ match against Santa Monica earlier this season click here.

“It was all my team,” freshman outside hitter Cesar Medina said. “They were pumping me up.”

Medina had an uncharacteristic nine attacking errors and four service errors, but made up for it offensively with 18 kills.

Sophomore middle blocker Peter Nordel thought the “passing was phenomenal.”

Seven of the eight players in tonight’s game racked up 47 total digs. Sophomore libero Allen Sarinana and Medina put up 12 digs each.

“Everyone played well,” freshman outside hitter Josh Riblett said. “I hope we keep growing as a team.”

Freshman middle blocker Peter Sarmiento was thinking along the lines of short-term growth.

“We worked hard for this,” he said. “Winning a state championship would be the best.”

Coach Dick Blount predicted that it would be EC against Santa Monica “in the finals” after their loss at home and Nordel had some final thoughts about facing SMC.

“We knew it was going to be this way,” Nordel said. “I guess third time’s a charm, right?”

Tensions were high and nerves were apparent after Santa Monica quickly dismantled the Orange Coast Pirates 3-0 earlier in the other state semifinal.

EC can clinch their first-ever state championship on Saturday.

This article has been updated to exclude that Santa Monica would clinch their first ever state title. The last time SMC won the state title was 1981 according to EC Athletics.