By Stephen Peltz
After losing the first set of the night Riverside City College never looked back, winning every set the rest of the night defeating Fullerton 3-1 for the first time since 2017.
Both RCC and Fullerton were playing back and forth with neither team really able to get a consistent drive of four or more points. RCC would get on a roll getting a few points in a row but Fullerton would come right back nearly keeping the game tied through every match.
Defense was huge for both teams in this game. There would be long periods of back and forth spiking and simple passing over the net with neither defense wanting to give in and give up that point. But RCC was determined to leave with an upset to give them even more momentum for the final few games of the season.
“Fullerton is such a great team,” head coach Monica Hayes-Trainers said. “This is a great win for us because it just increases our chance. This was really a fun match for us.”
While now back to being 12-12 on the year with that win, this game should propel RCC into the playoffs with the new Rating Percentage Index System in place. The new system is used by the NCAA to rank teams by not only their wins and losses, but also the teams strength of schedule.
RCC played tough the whole night. Defensive specialist and libero Sadie Arganda flew around the backcourt, diving and tumbling over to keep the ball in play. Outside hitter Vashti Elias-Romero was constantly moving around and diving for the ball to help the team win.
“Our players are fairly raw, really good athletes and they’re just sponges,” said Hayes-Trainer, which shows not only how aggressive they have played lately, but also from where they started at the beginning of the season to now just being able to hit their strides in the right moment before it’s too late.
Defensive specialist and libero Sadie Arganda had 17 digs and one point. Setter Hailey Gray led the team with 34 Aces with a total of 3.5 points. Outside hitter Vashti Elias-Romero had 21 kills, 22 digs and led the team in points with 25.5.