Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team won its seventh straight match to start the season and kept the program's two-year win streak alive, but the Lasers got all they could handle from an improved Fullerton squad on Friday night at home.
Irvine Valley, ranked No. 1 in the state, came out on top, 25-21, 25-21, 25-22, in an Orange Empire Conference contest. Irvine Valley improved to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in conference. Fullerton dropped its second match in a row and slipped to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in conference.
It was Irvine Valley's 34th win in a row dating back to 2016. The Lasers also recorded their seven straight sweep of 2018.
But Fullerton, which is ranked No. 17 in the state, never backed down. The Hornets had leads in all three sets.
Down, 18-16, late in the first set, Irvine Valley won three points in a row capped by an ace by sophomore libero Renata Bath to take a 19-18 lead.
The teams sided out the next several points with the score tied at 19 and 20, before IVC finally took control.
A kill by sophomore Alyssa Vortouni gave Irvine Valley the lead for good at 21-20.
The Lasers ended up winning five of the final six points, getting a kill from Vortouni to end the set.
The second set was also tight. Irvine Valley pulled away in the end. Fullerton hit in the net to give Irvine Valley set point at 24-20 and two points later sophomore middle blocker Jacqueline Wolfe finished the set with a kill.
And Irvine Valley had to rally again in the third and final set.
The Lasers trailed, 13-10, before winning six of eight points to take a 16-15 lead. Sophomore middle blocker Kylie Miller had back-to-back kills to give IVC the advantage.
Irvine Valley never trailed again, but it got close at the end. IVC went ahead, 23-19 on a kill by Vortouni. But Fullerton scored three straight points and pulled to within 23-22 on a block for a point by Holly Call and Baylee Coble.
Laser freshman outside hitter Gabriela Griego came through with a big kill to give her squad match point at 24-22. And Wolfe and freshman outside hitter Alaina Gendale closed out the match with a block on Fullerton's Amanda Henderson.
Vortouni finished with 14 kills to pace Irvine Valley. Griego and Miller added 10 kills each and Gendale finished with seven kills and 11 digs.
Freshman setter Truth Hafey had 40 assists, 11 digs and two aces for the Lasers.
Irvine Valley will play again next Wednesday, hosting Santa Ana in a conference match at 6 p.m.