Irvine Valley's women's sand volleyball players faced some of the toughest four-year competition in the nation last week at IVC.
Irvine Valley hosted Nebraska and Loyola Marymount.
"This was a huge thing for us today," Irvine Valley Coach Tom Pestolesi said after the match on March 20. "Most Division 1 schools don't get to play competition this good. So it was a great experience and a very special day for our program."
Nebraska, which was ranked ninth in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll, defeated both Irvine Valley and Loyola Marymount, 5-0.
Irvine Valley had close contests with Loyola Marymount, taking three matches to three sets. The Lions ended up defeating the Lasers, 4-1.
Irvine Valley's No.3 team of sophomores Alex Goodman and Avae Masaniai won its against Loyola Marymount, 21-19, 18-21, 15-7.
Irvine Valley's top team of freshman Annie Mitchem and sophomore Allie Cook dropped its match to Loyola Marymount's top team in three sets as did Irvine Valley's No. 4 team of freshmen Katherine Kolodziej and Emily Daily.
"In the first round of matches, every one of our players were a bit intimidated," Pestolesi said. "But by the second round, our players just relaxed and played and we got a win with Alex and Avae. That was great. We had a tough loss with our No. 1 team against LMU.
"But on every level in the second round, we competed and that was nice to see. We learned and improve and that was the goal. We just needed to play volleyball."
Irvine Valley is competing this season in the Intercollegiate Sand Volleyball Conference.
The conference is made up of other community colleges in Southern California, including the likes of Golden West, Fullerton, Orange Coast, Riverside, Santa Ana and Mira Costa.
The Lasers have a record of 4-0 in conference matches so far.
The Lasers will also have a couple of more contests against four-year colleges. IVC hosts Cal State Bakersfield this Friday at 11 a.m. and then will host Hawaii and Long Beach State on April 5 at 11 a.m.
Long Beach State was ranked No. 2 and Hawaii was No. 5 in the AVCA preseason poll.