Men's volleyball team to host El Camino in playoff opener

Men's volleyball team to host El Camino in playoff opener

Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team ended the regular season with a big win on Friday night, avenging a loss from two weeks ago with a four-set victory at Fullerton.

The win meant that Irvine Valley moved into a tie with Fullerton for second place in the Orange Empire Conference. Each finished with a record of 5-3.

But Irvine Valley earned the tiebreaker for second place out of the conference for the playoffs based on head-to-head sets in the two match-ups with Fullerton. Fullerton defeated IVC in five sets two weeks ago, while Irvine Valley won in four sets on Friday night.

So Irvine Valley (15-5 overall) picked up the third seed for the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships and will host No. 6 El Camino in a quarterfinal contest on Friday, Apr. 20 at 6 p.m.

The winner will move on to the CCCAA State Semifinals next Thursday at Fullerton College.

The two state semis are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 26 with the championship match on Saturday, Apr. 28 at 7 p.m.

Other quarterfinal playoff matchups for next Friday include No. 1 Long Beach City against No. 8 Miramar, No. 2 Orange Coast versus No. 7 Santa Barbara City and No. 4 Pierce against No. 5 Fullerton 

Irvine Valley defeated El Camino, which finished second in the Western State Conference - South Division, 23-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-15, on the road on Feb. 7. But it was only the third match of the year for El Camino and fifth of the season for IVC.

The Lasers were paced by sophomore outside hitter Patrick Furlong, who had 18 kills, sophomore middle blocker Matt August, who posted 13 kills, eight blocks and four aces, sophomore setter Austin McBain, who finished with 42 assists and four blocks and freshman libero Kelsey Yogi, who ended with 14 assists.

August averages 3.21 kills per set and is hitting .484 on the year. Furlong is averaging 3.00 kills, freshman outside hitter Sean Carroll averages 2.59 kills and 1.20 digs, McBain is averaging 10.19 assists per set and Yogi averages 3.00 digs per set for the Lasers.

On the season, Michael Donatucci averages 3.67 kills per set and Michael Donatucci, averages 3.15 digs per set.

El Camino had a record of 10-6 overall and 3-3 in conference this year, but played well late, including pushing top seed and undefeated Long Beach City to five sets and then four sets in conference play.