Men's Volleyball

Men's volleyball team fights back, but falls to Fullerton in five

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

Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team suffered its second Orange Empire Conference defeat in a row.

But it wasn't for a lack of effort.

The Lasers fought back from two sets down and saved six match points in the fifth set, including three in a row after being down, 14-11, but ultimately fell short in five sets.

Fullerton, ranked seventh in the state, survived for a 26-24, 25-21, 21-25, 21-25, 20-18 over No. 3 Irvine Valley on Wednesday night at IVC.

Fullerton improved its record to 9-5 overall and 3-1 in conference, while Irvine Valley's record slipped to 11-4 overall and 2-2 in conference.

Both teams had their chances to end it earlier all night long.

Fullerton swiped the first set after it was back and forth the whole way. The set was tied almost the whole way. Fullerton had a set point at 24-23 after a kill by Kyle Young, but IVC sophomore outside hitter Brennan To came back with a kill to tie it at 24.

Fullerton won the next two points to take the set, getting an overpass kill by Shawn Stolt an then a block by Stolt and Jacob Van Der Beek to end things.

And Fullerton jumped out to a two-set lead after Young finished the second set at 25-21 on a kill in the middle.

But IVC never gave in.

A Fullerton serve error put Irvine Valley ahead, 23-20, in the third set.

Up, 23-21, the Lasers won the final two points, getting another serve error and then a hitting error by Fullerton for the set.

Irvine Valley used its newfound momentum to race out to a 17-12 lead in the fourth set. Fullerton closed  within 19-17 after an ace by Young.

And it was later, 22-20, after a block by Fullerton's Van Der Beek.

But Irvine Valley answered back with a kill from freshman middle blocker Jonah Montes and an ace by sophomore outside hitter Patrick Furlong to make it 24-20.

Two points later, freshman outside hitter Sean Carroll's kill finished the set for Irvine Valley and sent the match to a fifth.

Fullerton got out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth set, later led, 10-6, and was even up, 14-11, after a kill by Garrett Geiger.

But Irvine Valley scored three in a row. Fullerton hit out, Carroll had a kill and the Hornets hit out again to make it 14-14.

The Hornets had match points at 15-14 and 16-15, but IVC had an answer each time, getting kills from Furlong and Caroll.

Tied at 16, Fullerton hit out after a long point to give Irvine Valley its first match point, but Young came through with a kill to tie it at 17.

The match was tied at 18 after a kill by Irvine Valley's To.

But the Lasers didn't score another point. They couldn't get the ball over on three and then Van Der Beek ended the match with a kill.

To and Carroll each finished with career highs in kills at Irvine Valley with 19 and 18, respectively.

Furlong added 13 kills and six blocks and freshman outside hitter Trent Williams chipped in five kills and nine blocks. Sophomore setter Austin McBain had 52 assists.

Irvine Valley is back in action on Friday when it hosts Palomar in a nonconference match at 5 p.m.

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