Women's Volleyball

Women's volleyball moves to 3-0 with solid win over Canyons

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team showed that it is going to be a team to be reckoned with this season on Friday night.

The Lasers cruised through their first two opponents, but were up against College of the Canyons, which was undefeated and coming off a tournament victory at Pierce last week.

In a battle of early-season undefeated squads, IVC was again imposing.

The Lasers showed some moxie in the first two sets and ended up coming away with an exciting four-set victory over the Cougars.

Irvine Valley came out on top, 25-17, 25-12, 19-25, 25-18 win.

The Lasers improved their record to 3-0, while Canyons fell to 4-1.

"I thought we did a really good job in the first two sets," Irvine Valley coach Tom Pestolesi said. "We were down and both sets and turned it on and played really good volleyball to close them out. I think we went on like a 17-2 run in the second set. I know Canyons was a little banged up, but it was still a very good win against a good team. We did a lot of things that we can continue to build on."

Irvine Valley hit well as a team for the third straight match. The Lasers finished with a .417 clip. Sophomore outside hitter Olivia Aguilar had 15 kills and three blocks, sophomore outside hitter Taira Ka'awaloa finished with 14 kills, five digs and three aces, freshman outside hitter Alyssa Vortouni had 12 kills and hit .500 and freshman middle blocker Alma Entesari ended with eight kills, hit .500 and also chipped in three blocks and three aces.

Sophomore setter Megan Ramseyer ran the offense with 45 assists and also had six kills, five digs, two blocks and two aces.

"Everyone is raving about Megan," said Pestolesi of Ramseyer, who played at the University of Idaho last season. "She makes really good decisions and is a leader. We know we have one of the best setters in the state."

Sophomore right side Diamond Brogan had five kills and three blocks, freshman defensive specialist Renata Bath added 12 digs and sophomore libero Gabi Lau had nine digs to round out IVC's key stats.

Irvine Valley trailed, 16-14, in the first set before turning it on. The Lasers out-scored Canyons, 11-1, the rest of the way.

A tip winner by Aguilar and a hitting error by the Cougars set up match point and Entesari ended the set with an ace.

Irvine Valley was down, 10-8, in the second set before rallying in a big way.

It was a 17-2 run that Pestolesi mentioned earlier that brought IVC all of the way back.

A block by Ramseyer gave IVC the lead for good in the set at 11-10.

And a combo block by Ramseyer and Brogan put IVC ahead, 19-11, later on.

A block and then back-to-back kills by Aguilar gave the Lasers set point at 24-12.

And Vortouni and Brogan finished the set with another block.

Canyons stayed alive in the third set, battling for a 25-19 win.

The Cougars led most of the way and took their biggest advantage at 22-15 on a block for a point.

IVC got within 23-19 on a block. But Canyons won the next two points, getting a kill by Morgan Ferguson and then a block by Toni Bito to get within 2-1 in sets.

But Irvine Valley found its rhythm again in the fourth set, jumping out to a 18-8 lead on an ace by Entesari.

A kill by Ka'awaloa and an ace by Ramseyer gave Irvine Valley a 20-9 lead.

The Lasers had a few problems putting Canyons away as the Cougars climbed to within 22-15 on a block by Bito.

But Irvine Valley sided out when it had to the rest of the way and won the match when Canyons couldn't get the ball over on three.

"We talked about that some after," Pestolesi said. "It looked like we shut it down a little bit. We have to continue to play and finish."

Irvine Valley will play again next Wednesday as it hosts Cerritos at 5 p.m. in a nonconference match.

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