After sweeping its first five opponents of the 2019 season, Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team dropped its first set of the year Wednesday night at home against Long Beach City.
The Lasers, ranked No. 2 in the state, lost the opening set, but turned things around from there and beat the No. 21 Vikings, 23-25, 25-18, 25-7, 25-15, to improve their record to 6-0 overall.
Long Beach City's record fell to 3-4 on the year.
It was a dominant performance for IVC in the final three sets.
The Lasers had their chances in the opening set as well, but faltered late.
The set was still tied, 23-23, after a kill by IVC sophomore outside hitter Gabriela Griego.
But Long Beach City scored the final two points of the set. Kennedy Freeman and Callissa Candalot combined for a block and then Doris Woods served an ace to get the Vikings out to the early lead.
Irvine Valley responded in the second set.
Long Beach City led, 15-11, when Irvine Valley stormed back. The Lasers scored seven points in a row to go up, 18-15.
The Lasers led, 22-17, after a net call on the Vikings.
Sophomore middle blocker Kristin Austin, who had a huge night, gave IVC a 23-18 lead with a kill on an overpass.
Long Beach City hit out to give the Lasers a set point and Kruse finished the set with a kill. IVC went on a 14-3 run to end the second set.
It was all Irvine Valley after that.
The Lasers raced out to a 15-1 lead in the third set and never looked back.
Back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Alaina Gendale made it 13-1 and then a hitting error by LBCC and a kill by Griego made it 15-1 for the Lasers.
IVC also scored nine of the final 11 points to end the third set. Freshman defensive specialist Lexie Pereira had two aces during the run.
Long Beach City had a hitting error that moved IVC to a 24-7 advantage and then Kruse ended another set with a kill.
Irvine Valley kept things going in the fourth set. The Lasers got to a 9-3 lead.
They went up, 14-7, on a block by Griego.
And an overpass kill by Austin and then a bad set by Long Beach City made it 17-10 for Irvine Valley.
Irvine Valley took a 23-14 lead on a hitting error by Long Beach City. Two points later Irvine Valley had match point after a Viking missed serve.
And an ace by Kruse closed out the set and the win for Irvine Valley.
The Lasers got a big match from Austin, who ended with a career-high 19 kills. She also hit .533 on the night and contributed three blocks.
Kruse added nine kills, 17 digs and five aces, Gendale had eight kills and 11 digs and Griego finished with eight kills.
Irvine Valley plays another ranked team on Friday, hosting No. 11 MiraCosta at 5 p.m.