Men's Volleyball

Men's volleyball team finishes strong to beat Pierce

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team picked up its first win against a Western State Conference team so far this season.

The Lasers defeated Los Angeles Pierce, 25-15, 25-20, 17-25, 25-23, in their official home opener on Friday.

IVC had dropped five-set matches to Western State Conference teams El Camino and Santa Barbara City.

Friday's win leveled Irvine Valley's record on the season at 2-2.

The Lasers were paced by sophomore outside hitter Cole Murray, who finished with 17 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Kevin Dell also had a solid match with six kills and seven blocks, including four solo.

Irvine Valley cruised in the opening set.

Set two was much tougher. Neither team was separated by more than two points until IVC scored four straight points to take a 23-18 lead.

Halaj had a kill, Pierce hit into the net, sophomore libero Billy Crow served an ace and then sophomore opposite Arek Halaj and sophomore middle blocker Matt Mittry came up with a block.

IVC later won the set on service error by Pierce.

But the Lasers couldn't sweep the Brahmas.

Pierce won the fourth game. Anthony Stepanov gave Pierce a 23-17 lead with an ace. And IVC hitting error gave Pierce set point and then Corey Pitt came through with a kill to finish the set.

Pierce looked like it might send the match to a fifth set after getting out in front in the fourth frame.

The Brahmas took a 21-17 lead on back-to-back kills by Armen Sargsyan.

But the Lasers got back in it.

IVC scored the next six points in a row to go up, 23-21.

Among the highlights of the run were kills by Dell and a block by Dell and Halaj.

A kill by Pitt made it 23-22, but another block by Dell and Halaj gave the Lasers match point at 24-22.

Pierce stayed alive for one more point on a kill by Joe Arechiga.

But Josh Vallin hit out for Pierce on the next point to end the match.

Irvine Valley also got 10 kills, six blocks and five digs from Halaj and seven kills and 10 digs from sophomore outside hitter Josh Schmidt.

Crow led with 17 digs and freshman setter Jake Adams had 44 assists for the Lasers.

IVC plays again next Wednesday, hosting Moorpark at 2 p.m.


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