Women's Volleyball

Women's volleyball team rallies to beat Cypress in five at home

Women's volleyball team rallies to beat Cypress in five at home

The Irvine Valley women's volleyball team never gave in Wednesday night at home.

IVC, ranked No. 10 in the state, dropped the first set and later found themselves a game away from defeat against No. 13 Cypress.

But the Lasers played their best when it mattered the most, taking the fourth set and then running away for the fifth for one of the best victories of the season.

Irvine Valley pulled out a 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 15-7 Orange Empire Conference win over the Chargers.

The victory was IVC's fourth straight in conference and kept the squad at the top of the standings. Irvine Valley moved its record to 8-3 overall and 4-0 in the OEC.

Cypress fell to 10-4 overall and 2-2 in conference.

The Lasers have another big match on Friday, traveling to No. 16 Santa Ana. The Dons have a record of 9-1 overall and are 2-1 in conference.

"I was very proud of how the entire group stayed together even when times were tough tonight," IVC coach Ryan Windisch said of Wednesday's victory. "Cypress played well and forced us to have to find a way. Every time you get a win in the OEC it is a good one."

Irvine Valley hit .241 as a team on the night. Sophomore opposite and returning all-state player Jayli Nealy led the way wit 18 kills. She also hit .340 and had two blocks.

Freshman outside hitter Tessa Marocco finished with 15 kills, hit 323 and added two aces, 17 digs and two blocks for the Lasers.

Sophomore outside hitter Angelina Griego provided a spark for IVC with eight kills and 10 digs and sophomore middle blocker Kendall Fraser had five kills and four blocks.

Sophomore setter Maddie Harkey ended with 29 assists and seven digs, freshman setter Mia Bertolone contributed 11 asssts and 11 digs and sophomore libero Gabi Brown chipped in 14 digs.

After losing a tough first set, the Lasers battled to win the second.

IVC was down, 16-12, but won 10 of the next 13 points. A kill by Marocco gave Irvine Valley a 22-19 lead.

Cypress then won three points in a row to tie things at 22. But Irvine Valley won three points in a row to take the set. A block by Fraser gave Irvine Valley a 23-22 advantage and then Cypress had two hitting errors in a row.

The Lasers had their chances in the third set. They pulled within 24-23 on a kill by Nealy, but a Laser serving error gave the Chargers the set and a 2-1 lead.

IVC found its groove in the fourth set. Up, 12-11, Irvine Valley went on a 5-1 run to take control. A kill by Nealy put the Lasers ahead 16-12.

A series of ball handling and hitting errors by Cypress closed out the set.

And in the fifth set, Irvine Valley broke things open with a streak of kills by Nealy to go ahead, 8-5.

Back-to-back kills by Marocco and Griego made it 11-5.

A kill by Fraser on a slide player and another kill by Marocco put IVC ahead 13-6.

Irvine valley moved to match point at 14-6 on a kill by Fraser and then Fraser and Marocco gave IVC its fourth win in a row with a combo block.

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