Men's Volleyball

Volleyball team gets playoffs No. 2 seed, hosts El Camino Friday

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

Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team earned the No. 2 seed in the CCCAA State Championship Playoffs and will host No. 7 El Camino on Friday at 6 p.m.

The winner moves on to the CCCAA State Championship Semifinals next Thursday at LA Pierce College.

It is the second meeting between Irvine Valley and El Camino this season.

The Lasers, who were ranked No. 1 in the state at the time, defeated the Warriors, 25-19, 25-21, 18-25, 25-16, at home on Mar. 15 behind 19 kills from freshman outside hitter Patrick Furlong.

El Camino comes into Friday's match with a record of 10-7 overall.

The Warriors were 4-2 for second place in the Western State Conference South Division.

El Camino's only two losses in conference were to third-seeded Long Beach.

On the season, Cesar Medina is averaging 4.91 kills per set, which is second in the state and he is hitting .339.

PJ Tulikihihifo is averaging 2.70 kills, Matthew Donatucci is averaging 2.25 kills and Jaden Misaalefua is averaging 2.09 kills per set.

Pedro Campos averages 7.78 assists, Malaki Tauiliili averages 4.86 assists and Jason Carroll averages 2.10 digs per set for El Camino.

Irvine Valley, which ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the state, has a record of 15-3 overall and took second in the Orange Empire Conference with a mark of 6-2. The Lasers' only two losses in conference were to top-ranked Orange Coast.

Irvine Valley finished off the regular season with a 21-25, 25-18, 25-20, 28-26 win over Fullerton last Friday at home.

Furlong recorded a season-high 24 kills with a .476 hitting percentage and nine digs in the win. Freshman middle blocker Matt August added 15 kills and hit .824, sophomore outside hitter Cody Hermanson contributed nine kills, hit .600 and had eight blocks, sophomore Libero Josh Evers finished with 13 digs and freshman setter Austin McBain had 52 assists and eight digs.

On the year, August is averaging 3.03 kills, Ruben Lopez averages 2.64 kills, Furlong is averaging 2.35 kills, Brennan To is averaging 2.25 kills and Hermanson averages 1.35 kills per set.

Evers averages 1.74 digs per set.

August leads the state in hitting percentage at .411. August also ranks second in the state in blocks per set at 1.33, while McBain is second in the state in assists at 10.57 per set.

The winner of Friday's match will take on the winner of the Long Beach City and Fullerton match in the state semifinals next Thursday.

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