Women's Volleyball

Volleyball team downs Orange Coast, stays unbeaten in OEC play

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

Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team started the 2022 season as the No. 8 ranked squad in the state.

The Lasers dropped to No. 15 this week after a rough schedule of matches and a few tough losses.

Things are starting to turn back around.

Irvine Valley had its best performance of the year and top win of the season in an Orange Empire Conference match at home Wednesday night, defeating No. 7 Orange Coast, 25-27, 25-18, 26-24, 25-19.

The Lasers stayed undefeated in conference play at 2-0 and moved their overall record to 6-3. Orange Coast slipped to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the OEC.

It was also Irvine Valley's 20th straight win over Orange Coast.

"We have been focusing on our team dynamic and whether we have been up or down the last couple of weeks, I really think we played together as a team," Irvine Valley coach Ryan Windisch said. "We won tonight and that was great, but we stepped forward as a group."

Irvine Valley had standout performances all around. Sophomore opposite and returning all-state player Jayli Nealy led the way with 22 kills and hit .326 on the night. Freshman outside hitter Tessa Marocco added 15 kills and 12 digs and sophomore opposite Chloe Swanson had some big plays in crucial points and ended with 12 kills and 15 digs.

Sophomore setter Maddie Harkey paced the offense with 37 assists and had 14 digs, sophomore libero Gabi Brown and freshman defensive specialist Hannah Ledesma each contributed 14 digs and sophomore middle blocker Kendall Fraser came through with six blocks for the Lasers.

Irvine Valley ended the night with 75 digs and 14 blocks.

IVC closed out the match in the fourth set on a combo block by freshman middle blocker Kristen Skenes and Nealy.

"Everybody stepped up," Windisch said. "Jayli and Chloe and Tessa. And I thought Maddie ran a balanced offense and Kendall had six blocks. I was proud of all of our players. They all trusted each other and that is what we are building on."

Irvine Valley is back in action on Friday with another conference match, traveling to Golden West at 6 p.m.

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