Men's Volleyball

No. 5 Story of Year - Men's volleyball team makes state semis

No. 5 Story of Year - Men's volleyball team makes state semis

The late-season charge by the men's volleyball team to reach the 2014 CCCAA State Championships semifinals is the No. 5 story of Irvine Valley's top 10 athletics stories of the 2013-14 school year.

The Lasers lost their first two matches of the season. They bounced back to win seven of their next eight contests, including starting Pacific Coast Conference with a 3-0 mark.

But three losses in their next five matches, including falling in straight sets at Grossmont on March 26 had IVC on its heels.

The Lasers recovered in time and were playing some of their best volleyball by the end of the year.


Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team had an up and down 2014 regular season.

But the Lasers, who finished third in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, played their best when it counted most and ended up making it to the semifinals of the CCCAA State Championships at Santiago Canyon College.

IVC won the three of its final four matches to end the regular season and make the playoffs.

Then in the post-seasons, IVC pulled off an upset to reach the state event.

IVC played its best match of the 2014 season at the perfect time, taking the final two sets and winning Long Beach, 25-19, 19-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12,  in April to make the state semis.

Long Beach City, which was second in the Western State Conference, ended the year at 15-5.

Long Beach City swept Irvine Valley earlier in the season, but it was a different match at Long Beach on April 18.

The contest saw 34 tie scores and 14 lead changes and IVC held the lead at the end.

With the match tied in sets 2-2, the Vikings took a 6-3 lead in the fifth set and appeared to have momentum on their side.

But Irvine Valley battled back and took its first lead of the fifth set at 10-9 after a LBCC error.

Long Beach City tied the score at 10-10 thanks to an IVC error, but back-to-back errors by LBCC gave the Lasers a two-point advantage that they never gave up.

Reylea Speller's kill gave the Vikings life down 14-12, but freshman middle blocker Kevin Vaz' kill sealed the set and match victory for Irvine Valley.

The Lasers got contributions from all around.

Freshman opposite Davis Cannon led Irvine Valley with 24 kills and hit .357 on the night. He also had seven digs, four aces and three blocks in his best all-around effort of the season.

Freshman outside hitter Cole Murray had quite a night. He finished with 14 kills and a 1.000 hitting percentage.

Freshman outside hitter AJ Hammer added 10 kills and Vaz contributed seven kills and six blocks.

Freshman libero Ryan Spector had nine digs, freshman setter Steven Duhoux had 35 assists and freshman setter John Lasezky ended with 15 assists.

Irvine Valley lost to eventual state champion Orange Coast in the state semis, but it was still a special season for the Lasers, who ended the year with a record of 13-8 overall.

Also, Cannon and Hammer were each named first team all-conference, freshman outside hitter Cole Murray was named second team all-conference as well as to the all-state tournament team and Duhoux and Spector were both named third team all-conference.


*In leading up to the start of the 2014-15 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with women's volleyball, the Laser athletic department will countdown the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2013-14 school year.

The countdown will begin on Thursday, Aug. 7 with the No. 10 story of the year and work its way down to No. 1 on Thursday, Aug. 21.

Some of the top stories in the running for the top 10 include special seasons by the women's soccer, men's tennis, women's volleyball and women's sand volleyball teams along with individual accolades earned by several IVC athletes for hard work both on the playing fields and courts and in the classroom.

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