Volleyball: Cerritos outlasts Santiago Canyon

File Photo: Mirka Granoble (2) posted 24 assists in the Falcons win
File Photo: Mirka Granoble (2) posted 24 assists in the Falcons win

At times, it looked like the Cerritos College volleyball team was destined to go to a fifth and deciding set against visiting Santiago Canyon College on Friday in The Aviary. The Falcons (2-2), who were leading two sets to one (25-18, 13-25, 25-15), trailed 22-18 in the fourth set. But the team battled back to take the fourth set, 27-25, to finish off the Hawks (0-3). Now 2-0 at home, the team will look for their first road win when they travel to San Bernardino Valley College for a 5:00 p.m. non-conference match on Wednesday.

In that fourth set, a service error by Santiago Canyon was followed by a kill from sophomore Alexia Torres (Downey HS) to get the team to within 22-20. After a Hawks point drew them closer to extending the match, a kill from sophmore Brooke Winquist (Carlsbad International School, Czechia) followed by three straight attack errors put the Falcons at match point. Kills from Stacie Zumbek and Aubree MacDonald flipped the scenario and put the Hawks at set point.

A kill from Winquist tied the match, while a ball-handling error gave Cerritos their second match point. Not looking to play a fifth set, Torres slammed home her fifth kill on the night to end the match.

At times, the Falcons struggled with their serve reception and were victimized 15 times, which allowed the Hawks to win the second set without any pushback from Cerritos. However, the tandem of Winquist and sophomore Sierra Hernandez-Hardy (Bishop Amat HS) combined for 21 kills, with sophomore setter Mirka Granoble (Downey HS) dishing out 24 assists to go along with seven digs and three kills.

Hernandez-Hardy led the team with 11 digs and three service aces, while freshman Marissa Reyna (Norwalk HS) came off the bench to contribute nine digs in the back row.