Men's Volleyball

Men's volleyball team outlasts OCC to move into first place

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team earned its biggest win of the season so far and one of the best victories in the last few years.

The Lasers out-lasted rival Orange Coast, 25-27, 25-20, 25-22, 31-33, 16-14, on the road in a key Pacific Coast Athletic Conference match.

Irvine Valley's win was its first over Orange Coast since March 2, 2012 - a five-set win at Irvine Valley.

The Lasers had dropped their last six matches to the Pirates.

Irvine Valley also halted a nine-match win streak by Orange Coast this season.

And IVC moved into a tie for first place in the conference standings with Orange Coast and Grossmont with the win.

For the Lasers (9-3, 7-1), sophomore opposite Arek Halaj led a balanced attack with 16 kills to go along with 29 assists and eight digs, while sophomore outside hitter Cole Murray added 13 kills, freshman outside hitter Peter Van Liefde chipped in 12 kills and freshman middle blocker Robert Ryley had 10 kills.

Sophomore middle blocker Kevin Dell and Van Liefde led the way with four blocks each, while sophomore libero Billy Crow came up with a match-best 16 digs and added six assists. Freshman setter Jake Adams had 28 assists.

Adrain Faitalia led the Pirates (9-4, 6-1) with 23 kills, while Nick Amado added 19 kills.

Faitalia also led the team with eight digs, while Paio and Steven Duhoux contributed seven each. Duhoux dished out 58 assists for the Pirates as well.

It was a heavyweight slug-fest right from the opening whistle as the top two teams from the PCC went back and forth for over two hours. In the opening set, Coast jumped out to a 12-6 led and fought off a late IVC rally to prevail, 27-25.

Irvine Valley fought off three consecutive set points, but an Amado block - one of five he had on the night - proved to be the set-winner.

Coast, led 13-11, in the second set only to see the Lasers go on an 11-4 run to take the lead for good and even the match at a set apiece.

Another early OCC lead went by the boards as IVC used a 6-0 run to go up, 19-13, in the third set. Coast fought back and evened the set at 21, only to see kills by Murray and Van Liefde spark a 4-1 run to give IVC a 2-1 lead in the match.

Ahead, 21-18, in the fourth set, the Lasers were just four points again from putting the Pirates away, but a pair of kills by Faitalia, a pair of blocks and a kill by Patrick Henry pushed Coast ahead, 23-21.

Irvine Valley used a kill and a block by freshman outside hitter Josh Schmidt to even things at 23 and from there, it was a back-and-forth struggle for both teams to close things out.

OCC had seven set-point opportunities that were erased by the Lasers and Irvine Valley saw two match-point chances get wiped away by the Pirates.

Finally, with the set tied at 31, a Faitalia put-away pushed Coast in front 32-31 and on the following play, an IVC kill attempt rang off the antenna, giving the Pirates a 33-31 win and evened the match at two sets apiece.

IVC took control of the fifth set and held a 12-9 lead in the best-to-15 final set. But Coast took advantage of an Irvine Valley net serve, a wide kill return and a back-row violation to even the fifth set at 12.

Both teams traded points and when Faitalia knocked down his 23rd kill of the night, the set was tied at 14.

But, the Lasers finally put the match away with back-to-back kills by Murray and Schmidt to give the guests the hard-fought win.

Irvine Valley and Orange Coast will play again in the final match of the regular season at Irvine Valley on April 10 at 6 p.m.

The Lasers will play next on Friday when they host San Diego City at 6 p.m.

Irvine Valley College provides this web space for the use of its faculty, staff and other representatives of the college for the purpose of furthering the educational goals of the institution and enhancing the academic experience of its students. This is the official web site of Irvine Valley College Athletics. The data, statistics, photos, rosters and schedules used on this web site were gathered by the IVC Sports Information Office. Other web sites containing information about Irvine Valley College Athletics not within the official college web site may not be accurate. Questions or comments about this web site can be directed to

View: Mobile | Desktop