Irvine Valley will try to follow up its success last fall in indoor volleyball with more accomplishments on the sand when the Lasers take part in the 2018 California Community College Athletic Association Beach Volleyball Championships beginning on Thursday at West Valley College in Saratoga in Northern California.
Six programs – four from the south and two from the north – will vie for the team title on Thursday, starting at 9 a.m., before 32 teams from 20 different colleges take to the sand on Friday and Saturday to determine the pairs championship.
IVC also has two pairs teams in the individual portion of the event.
Irvine Valley claimed the second women's volleyball state title in program history last December after beating San Joaquin Delta in four sets in the CCCAA State Championship at Solano College in Fairfield. The win finished off an undefeated 27-0 season for the Lasers.
Now Irvine Valley will compete in the team beach volleyball state championship on Thursday.
The Lasers, who won a state title in 2015, earned the third seed out of Southern California and will be in a pool with the top team from Northern California, Sierra, and MiraCosta, the No. 2 from So. Cal. IVC starts with a match against Sierra at 10 a.m. on Thursday. MiraCosta won the state title a year ago, defeating Grossmont, 3-2.
Irvine Valley has a record of 11-8 overall and went 6-0 in OEC action to earn a share of the conference title with Golden West.
Teams will play each team in their respective pool once with the top pool winners squaring off for the CCCAA Championship at 4 p.m.
The team competition yields to the individual tournament that begins on Friday morning. Eight pools consisting of four pairs each will begin in waves at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the top two teams in each pool advancing to single-elimination bracket play on Saturday.
The championship, claimed by Long Beach's Sarah Miller and Paige Panter last year, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Irvine Valley has two pairs in the field. They include the fourth-seeded pair of sophomore Taira Ka'awaloa and freshman Megan Ramseyer and the 12-seeded duo of sophomore Olivia Aguilar and freshman Renata Bath.
The Orange Empire Conference has five pairs total in the field.
Brittney Diffine and Natalie Escher from Riverside City are seeded seventh, Viridiana Serrano and Mikelle Taylor from Santa Ana are seeded 16th and and Ashleigh Atsaros and Andrea Gonzalez from Golden West are the 18th seed.
Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing sport among California community colleges. A total of 34 schools sponsor the sport, up from eight from 2017 and 16 in its inaugural 2016 season.
The West Valley beach volleyball facility is one of the top sand courts in the country. It features six, wind-screen-protected courts, bleachers with 150 fold-down seats, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard.
CCCAA Beach Volleyball State Championship Seeds
SoCal - 1. Long Beach, 2. MiraCosta, 3. Irvine Valley, 4. Moorpark
NorCal - 1. Sierra, 2. Cabrillo
SoCal Regional (May 1)
Irvine Valley (11-8), Orange Coast (7-9) at El Camino (13-6) (Irvine Valley advances) MiraCosta (14-4), Riverside City (10-8) at Golden West (13-5) (MiraCosta advances) Moorpark (11-3), Cypress (9-7) at Grossmont (21-3) (Moorpark advances) San Diego Mesa (12-10), Bakersfield (11-5) at Long Beach City (17-4) (Long Beach City advances)
NorCal Regional (May 2)
Feather River (8-3), Gavilan (9-6) at Sierra (12-3) (Sierra advances) West Valley (8-3), Foothill (3-10) at Cabrillo (11-1) (Cabrillo advances)