Women's Volleyball

Top-ranked women's volleyball team sweeps Orange Coast

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team moved up to the top spot in the state rankings earlier this week.

And the Lasers showed why on Wednesday night.

IVC remained the only undefeated team in the state and swept its ninth opponent in 12 matches so far this year, beating Orange Coast, 25-21, 25-11, 25-14, in an Orange Empire Conference contest at home.

Irvine Valley improved its record to 12-0 overall and 5-0 in conference.

IVC handed Orange Coast just its second defeat of the year and first in conference. Orange Coast came into Wednesday's match in a virtual tie for first place with IVC in the OEC standings.

Orange Coast's record went to 11-2 overall and 4-1 in conference.

The Lasers got out to a quick start in the first set, scoring the first seven points.

Orange Coast got right back in the set, scoring six of the next seven points and it was a grind for the Lasers the rest of the set.

The Pirates tied the score at 21 on an ace by Bailey Coffin.

But Irvine Valley scored the final four points of the set to take it. Sophomore outside hitter Lea Kruse had three kills in the final four points, including the final two.

Orange Coast was up, 5-3, early in the second set, but it was all Irvine Valley after that.

The Lasers stayed in it thanks to some standout play by sophomore libero Anna Unke and freshman defensive specialist Lexie Pereira, who each kept points alive.

Irvine Valley took its largest lead of the set at 20-8 on an overpass kill by sophomore outside hitter Alaina Gendale.

And the Lasers again finished a set strong. Irvine Valley scored the final five points of the second set.

Another kill by Gendale put IVC in front, 21-11. A kill by sophomore middle blocker Kristin Austin made it 23-11, and Austin ended the set with one more kill.

Irvine Valley took a 16-12 advantage in the third set and then went on a 9-2 run to close things out.

Gendale had four kills over the last five points to help end the match for IVC.

Five players finished with at least seven kills in the match in a nice, balanced effort for the Lasers.

Kruse led with 12 kills, five digs and four blocks, sophomore outside hitter Gabriela Griego had 11 kills, Gendale chipped in 10 kills and 12 digs, Austin had eight kills and two blocks and freshman middle blocker Paea Tafea added seven kills and four blocks.

Sophomore libero Anna Unke had a big night with 14 digs, Pereira contributed four digs and one assist and sophomore setter Truth Hafey ended with 43 assists, nine digs and two aces.

Irvine Valley plays again on Friday in a conference match at Golden West at 6 p.m.

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