Women's volleyball team is No. 1 in the state in first poll of 2018

Women's volleyball team is No. 1 in the state in first poll of 2018

The Irvine Valley women's volleyball team is off to a solid 3-0 start to the 2018 season.

The Lasers are also ranked No. 1 in the first California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association State Top 25 Poll.

Irvine Valley is the defending state champion, having ended with a record of 27-0 last season. It was the second state title in program history.

But IVC has basically a new squad this season. Five top sophomores moved on to play at four-year schools a year ago.

It hasn't stopped the Lasers from shining so far.

Irvine Valley did return outside hitter Alyssa Vortouni, libero Renata Bath and defensive specialist Jade Parham. Middle blocker Kylie Miller is also back after sitting out last year.

And coach Tom Pestolesi brought in a solid recruiting class, which has been led by outside hitters Gabriela Griego, Lea Kruse, Kristin Austin, Alaina Gendale and Truth Hafey.

Irvine Valley looks to try and make its record 4-0 with a road match at Palomar on Wednesday.

IVC then opens Orange Empire Conference play on Friday at home at 6 p.m. against Saddleback.

Irvine Valley is riding a 30-match win streak.

Following Irvine Valley in the top 10 of the rankings is Gavilan at No. 2, El Camino at No. 3, Long Beach City at No. 4, Bakersfield at No. 5, American River at No. 6, Cabrillo at No. 7, Grossmont at No. 8, Moorpark at No. 9 and Feather River at No. 10.

Among OEC teams, Cypress is ranked No. 15, Orange Coast is ranked No. 16, Fullerton is 19th and Golden West is ranked No. 23.