The Irvine Valley women's volleyball team opens its 2018 season Wednesday night at home at 5 p.m. against a tough Long Beach City squad.
IVC captured the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship last season.
The team went 27-0 and captured the second state title in program history.
Gone are five key sophomores from last year's squad, including OEC co-MVP's an All-Americans Megan Ramseyer (Butler) and Olivia Aguilar (Cal State San Marcos), but IVC coach Tom Pestolesi expects the Lasers have a talented and deep squad again.
The team returns outside hitter Alyssa Vortouni, who averaged 1.75 kills last season. Vortouni had one of her best matches of the season in the state semifinals last fall with 10 kills in IVC's five-set win over Canyons.
Long Beach City, which is guided by gold medalist and volleyball legend Misty May-Treanor, won a South Coast Conference co-championship after boasting a 6-1 conference record and an 18-5 overall mark.
May-Treanor is in her third year coaching the program.
Sierra Davis, who averaged 2.21 kills and 1.74 digs per set, returns for the Vikings. Davis was also part of pairs team that made the final of the CCCAA Beach Volleyball State Championships this past spring.
Jessica Blakeman is another top returner. She averaged 1.65 kills and 1.48 digs per set last season. LBCC hosts its own quad event on Friday.
Irvine Valley is back in action against Canyons, which it beat in five sets in last year's state semifinals, next Wednesday on the road at 5 p.m.