Men's Volleyball

Men's volleyball team tops Moorpark, moves on to state semis

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

Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team didn't end the regular season the way it wanted last Friday at home.

The Lasers, who were ranked No. 5 in the state, were swept by Santiago Canyon.

But Irvine Valley got the postseason off to a great start, holding off Moorpark in four sets in the quarterfinals of the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships.

Irvine Valley, seeded fourth, held off No. 5 Moorpark, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 26-24, to move on to next Thursday's semifinals at Fullerton College.

Irvine Valley will take on top-seeded and undefeated Orange Coast, which swept No. 8 Santa Barbara City on Friday in the late match aty 7 p.m. No. 2 El Camino will face off against No. 3 Long Beach City in the other semi at 5 p.m.

The Lasers and Moorpark battled in each set all night Friday.

In the opening set, Irvine Valley finally created some distance by winning three straight points (on a kill and block by sophomore outside hitter Sean Carroll and an ace by freshman setter Jimi Wilson) to take a 22-17 lead.

The Lasers went up, 23-18 after Moorpark served into the net.

A kill by freshman outside hitter Demetre Gossett gave IVC set point two points later.

And IVC closed out the 25-20 win on a Moorpark hitting error.

The Raiders responded in set two after more back and forth action early. Moorpark jumped ahead 20-18 after an ace by Steven Weese and an IVC hitting error. And the Raiders never looked back. They led by as many as three points. Irvine Valley got within 23-22 on a kill by freshman right side Luke Davis. But Moorpark won the final two points to take the set. Dylan Haskell ended the set with a kill.

The third set was the key for Irvine Valley. The Lasers trailed by as many as four points (16-12) and were down, 19-17, late.

But a kill by Gossett and an ace by freshman middle blocker Grant Marocchi tied things up at 19. And the Lasers took a 21-21 lead after a kill and then a block by freshman middle blocker Tristan Belsby.

The set was tied at 21 and 22 before IVC took the lead for good. The Lasers went ahead, 23-22 on a kill by freshman outside hitter Declan Holder and when Moorpark hit out, IVC led, 24-22.

A block by Marocchi and Holder on Moorpark's Jordan Moses ended it and gave IVC a 2-1 advantage in sets.

Moorpark had its chances to send the match to a fifth set, but the Lasers rallied late to finish off the match in four.

The Raiders took a 24-23 lead in the fourth set on a net call on IVC.

But Weese hit into the net on the next point to tie the score at 24.

A big kill by Gossett gave Irvine Valley match point at 25-24 and then Marocchi and Wilson combined for a block to move the Lasers on to the semifinals.

IVC was paced by Gossett, who finished with 12 kills and two aces. Holder and Belsby each added 10 kills, Carroll had eight kills and two aces and Marocchi finished with six kills and five block assists.

Wilson ran the offense with 44 assists and contributed five digs and two block assists.

Irvine Valley improved its record to 14-7 on the year.

More details about the upcoming state final four at Fullerton will be provided early next week.

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