The Irvine Valley women's beach volleyball team is back in the California Community College Athletic Association Championship.
After missing out on the event in 2017, Irvine Valley, which won the inaugural title in 2015 and was the runner-up in 2016, will go after another championship next Thursday at West Valley College in Saratoga.
The Lasers advanced after toughing out a 3-2 win over El Camino in a So. Cal. team regional on Tuesday at Granada Beach in Long Beach.
Irvine Valley cruised past Orange Coast, 4-1, in its first match and then had to sweat it out in the triumph over host El Camino.
It came down to the final match on the courts and Irvine Valley's No. 5 pair of sophomore Diamond Brogan and freshman Alyssa Vortouni defeated El Camino's Melissa Euyoque and Kiana Takahashi, 21-12, 17-21, 15-13, to move the Lasers on.
But Irvine Valley's No. 1 pair of sophomore Taira Ka'awaloa and freshman Megan Ramseyer came away with a 21-10, 21-19, and on the third court, IVC's pair of sophomore Hannah Salaya and freshman Emilie Austin won, 21-13, 21-15 to put Irvine Valley ahead, 2-1.
El Camino's No. 2 team of Aiko Waters and Phina Leilua won in three sets over Irvine Valley sophomore Olivia Aguilar and freshman Renata Bath to tie things up, leaving the berth in the state championships up to the result of the No. 5 match.
That is where Brogan and Vortouni pulled out the clutch win. The duo was down, 6-2, in the third set, but rallied to take a 14-11 lead. El Camino's pair of Kiana Takahashi and Melissa Euyoque fought off two match points to make it 14-13, but Takahashi's serve sailed just long on the third match point to give the Lasers the win in the game and the match.
The Warriors finished the season with a 14-6 overall record. The Lasers improved their record to 11-8 overall and they will try for even more next week up north.
Next up for Irvine Valley is the individual regionals on Friday at IVC. The Lasers have two teams involved. The pairs of Ka'awaloa and Ramseyer and Aguilar and Bath will try and qualify for the CCCAA Pairs State Championship.
Irvine Valley 3, El Camino 2