Volleyball: Cerritos puts scare in Long Beach City

Cameron Puente posted six kills for the Falcons
Cameron Puente posted six kills for the Falcons

Taking on crosstown rival Long Beach City College, the Cerritos College volleyball team stayed close in all three sets, but came up short, 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 in their South Coast Conference match on Wednesday. The Falcons (1-17, 1-10, who have dropped their last 10 matches, will host Mt. San Antonio College at 6:00 p.m. in their final home match of the season.

Extending points with excellent defense on both sides, the Falcons led most of the first set until the Vikings scored points in bunches to pull even and then went ahead. Holding a 13-10 lead, the two teams traded points until it was a 19-17 Cerritos lead. But Long Beach City strung together four straight points to take a 21-19 advantage. A pair of kills by sophomore Alexia Torres (Downey HS) stopped that run and evened the score at 21-21. The teams once again traded kills until Brooke Earkman posted a pair of kills for the Vikings to pull out the win.

The Falcons started slowly in the second set and trailed, 4-1 early on. But they regrouped and tied the match at 8-8 after two Gladys Garcia (Elizabeth Learning Center HS) kills and a trio of Long Beach City attack errors. The Vikings went on to score 10 of the next 13 points on kills by four different players and several Cerritos attack errors. Not ready to roll over, Torres provided two kills, while freshman Cameron Puente (Mayfair HS) added one and sophomore Lizbeth Vega (Paramount HS) recorded a service ace to draw to within 18-15. After trading points, LBCC went on to record six straight points to close out the set.

Down 10-2 at the start of the third set, Cerritos again worked their way back into contention and drew to within 16-12, thanks to some great defense and timely hitting. But the Vikings just had too much depth and firepower and pulled away to finish off the sweep.

Torres led the team with 12 kills and added a solo block and three block assists, while sophomore Sierra Hernandez-Hardy (Bishop Amat HS) finished with nine kills and six digs. Puente posted six kills on the night, while sophomore setter Mirka Granoble (Downey HS) directed the offense with 28 assists and had three block assists. Vega led the back row with 16 digs, with Garcia finishing with four kills and 11 digs. Long Beach City received 17 kills from Earkman and had 10 players post at least one kill.

Photos by Daryl Peterson