Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team battled one of the hottest teams in the state Wednesday night in a five-set thriller.
The Lasers even had an early lead in the fifth and final set, but Santa Barbara City, ranked No. 5 in the state in this week's coaches poll, had a little too much in the end.
Santa Barbara City came out on top, 25-21, 21-25, 23-25, 25-210, 15-11.
The Vaqueros, who had knocked off No. 1 Orange Coast in four sets last Friday at home, improved their record to 2-2 on the year.
Irvine Valley, ranked No. 7 in the state, fell to 2-4.
IVC was paced by sophomore opposite Demetre Gossett, who recorded an IVC-career high 21 kills. Gossett also chipped in five digs and two solo blocks.
Sophomore setter Jimmy Wilson ended with 40 assists and eight digs.
Irvine Valley dropped the first set, but came back strong in the next two.
Wise ended the second set with a kill off an assist from Wilson and then IVC won a back and forth third set after Santa Barbara was called for a net touch.
The Vaqueros pulled away midway through the fourth set to take it and force a fifth.
In the fifth and final set, Irvine Valley jumped out to a 6-4 lead on a serving error by Santa Barbara City.
But the Vaqueros scored five points in a row to flip the momentum.
A combo block by Brigg Busenhart and Zac Pittard for a point gave Santa Barbara City a 9-7 lead.
IVC climbed back with three straight points of its own to tie it at 9. Gossett had back-to-back kills and then Santa Barbara City netted.
Santa Barbara City scored the next two points and then responded with two straight points (kill and then serve winner by Gossett) to tie things up at 11.
But it was all Vaqueros to close out the fifth.
IVC recorded three straight hitting errors to set up match point and Busenhart served an ace to give Santa Barbara City the win.
Irvine Valley will play again at home on Friday with an earlier start at 2 p.m. as IVC's men's basketball team takes on Cypress after at 6 p.m.