Women's Volleyball

Women's volleyball team sweeps Canyons to open new season

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

Irvine Valley started its 2022 season off solid.

The Lasers defeated Canyons 25-12, 25-20, 25-20, Friday night at home.

IVC knocked off a squad that made the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships last year.

Sophomore outside hitter Jayli Nealy, who was named all-state and first team all-Orange Empire Conference in 2021, led the way with 14 kills.

Sophomore opposite Chloe Swanson added nine kills and hit .381.

Freshman outside hitter Tessa Marocco had five kills and freshman middle blocker Avery Bennett and sophomore middle blocker Kendall Fraser each contributed four kills.

Freshman setter Mia Bertolone ran the Laser offense with 24 assists.

Sophomore libero Gabi Brown finished with 15 digs and Bertolone added nine digs. Nealy and Bennett led in blocks with three each for IVC.

Irvine Valley started fast on Friday and never looked back.

The Lasers scored 11 of the first 13 points. IVC took a 11-2 lea on a kill by Nealy. 

A kill by Marocco put IVC ahead, 16-4, and soon after it was a 19-5 lead after another kill by Marocco.

The Lasers reached set point at 24-12 on a kill by Fraser and IVC won the set after four contacts by the Cougars.

The next to sets were much tighter.

Canyons scored six points in a row to take a 12-10 lead in the second set.

The set was tied at 18, but IVC finished strong. It scored seven of the next nine points to take a 2-0 lead.

An ace by Bertolone gave IVC set point at 24-20 and the set ended on a Cougar setting error.

Canyons jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set, but the Lasers chipped away and tied the set at 9 on a Canyons hitting mistake.

The point was part of a 6-0 run that gave the Lasers a 13-9 advantage. It all came behind the serving of freshman setter Alessandra Nitoglia.

But Canyons rallied and tied the set at 14 on an Irvine Valley error.

The Lasers never trailed again. They scored three points in a row to go up, 17-14.

Canyons got within on two occassions, including at 21-20 on a kill by Aly Grodell.

The Lasers answered with four kills in a row to end things.

IVC got kills from sophomore opposite Emily Hon, two from Nealy and Marocco sealed the win with a kill off the block.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday, making a trip to Santa Barbara City for a 6 p.m. contest.

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