By Tyler Nelson
A 34 match losing streak to Irvine Valley College came to end Sept. 28, when the Riverside City College women’s volleyball team beat the Lasers, 3-2.
At first, it seemed like the Tigers had the game at hand. RCC would win its’ first set with a final score of 25-16. During that set, Irvine Valley would commit four costly errors early in the game and gave the Tigers an early 5-0 advantage.
Leading with a score of 1-0, the second set deemed much more competitive. Toward the end of the second set, both teams were tied at 23. However, a service error by the Tigers would give the Lasers the lead and opposing player Kylie Miller would seal the deal for the Lasers as they tied the sets at 1-1.
Entering the third set at 1-1, both teams played extremely hard. The third set would feature over 10 lead changes and 15 ties. The scores would go back in forth. Fortunately, the Tigers stood tall and a late kill by sophomore Lauren Wells would help the Tigers win the third set at 24-26.
The Tigers had a chance to end an iconic 34 match losing streak to Irvine Valley during their fourth set. The score was neck and neck as both teams were tied at 9-9. But, Irvine Valley would gain the upper hand and defeated the Tigers 25-17. Tying the sets at 2-2.
Tied with a score of 2-2, tensions were high for both teams. The Lasers wanted to continue their winning streak while the Tigers were seeking to end it. During the fifth and final set, Irvine Valley jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.
That didn’t stop the Tigers nor Wells, “We can’t think about our errors when we’re down like that,” Wells said. “We focus on first to five points, the first to 10 points, to set short goals for ourselves when we’re down.”
With a score of 12-7 in favor of the Tigers, sophomore Wells would contribute to the final three points for the Tigers of the last match for a final score of 15-9. Wells would have a match-high 18 kills. Sophomore Marissa Vialpando would be right behind her with 16 kills herself.
“One of our goals was to beat Irvine Valley this year,” Wells said. “After we high-fived them, I screamed so loud because I was so excited. That’s usually against my nature,” she said jokingly.
The Tigers did it. They finally ended a losing streak that lasted over a decade. When asked what’s it like to final defeat a team after losing 34 straight times to them, “They’ve been a perennial power and it’s a wonderful feeling to finally defeat them,” Coach Monica Hayes-Trainer said. “Especially when we’re down like that in the final set, to push forward and come from behind tells you about this team.”
With the iconic win, the women’s team improved their overall record to 10-3 and 4-0 in the Orange Empire Conference. Coach Hayes-Trainer still believes the team can improve, “We still want to be more consistent,” Hayes-Trainer said. “We still want to get better with our strategy of the game and become smarter on the court.”
The Tiger’s continued their winning streak against Orange Coast College winning 3-1 on Oct. 5.