The SBCC beach volleyball team went undefeated on Saturday for the second straight week to open the season, taking another 5-0 win over San Mateo and defeating weekend host West Valley 3-2.
SBCC 5, San Mateo 0
Sophomores Emma Crabbe and Jacelin McKie were back at the 1s, pulling out a close first set win and sealing the deal in set two. Crabbe finished with a block and three aces, while McKie had several great digs and numerous cagey shots on the right side.
“As a pair, they played great defense and brought the intensity,” head coach Ariana Garner said. “They really worked hard to establish their short deep game early on which allowed them to open their offense and find a lot of open court. Once they gained momentum, they made few mistakes and were able to take care of business.”
The 2s and 3s teams of Cori Tommeraason and Olivia Medina and Irey Sandholt and Paige Rudi had more of a cushion in their two-set wins, both earning sweeps with wins averaging at least nine points per set.
“Our 3s pair of Irey Sandholt and Paige Rudi is developing a better understanding of how to play together,” Garner said. “They have a lot of great potential as a pair and they showed that today. Paige did a great job at the net being decisive on whether to stay at the net or pull off and play defense, while Irey touched almost every ball within her range. It’s great to see those gritty hustle plays. We are excited for this pair to continue to develop and become more confident and comfortable together.”
SBCC 3, West Valley 2
All five pairs were in action for the second contest of the day as SBCC took the victory with wins from its 2s, 3s and 5s pairs.
An exciting match came down to a decisive battle for the 5s team of Gabby Russell and Sophie Ward, who were able to pull it out with a 21-18, 21-16 win.
“Sophie Ward and Gabby Russell pulled off a great win for the pair, but most importantly for our team,” Garner said. “Their setting in transition helped them easily find the court and hit their shots. Their tough serving, I believe, won them that match. This pair continues to be solid for us and with more time to play together will be even stronger down the stretch of the season.”
Tommeraason and Medina made it a perfect 4-0 on the day, winning the 2s court once again.
“Cori and Olivia played solid together all day. Their court awareness and vision were what made the biggest difference today,” Garner said. “When they were in system, they were able to score easily because their setting and shot calling was on point. Their execution was great and they both served super tough, earning many aces.”
Competing at the 4s for the first time together were Piper Ellbogn-Pettersen and Celia Espinoza.
“They competed and battled through a tough 2-1 loss,” said Garner. “We loved the energy and fight this pair showed together and we’re proud of Celia for holding her own in her first ever collegiate beach match. Their defense was scrappy and they lasted throughout some very long rallies. We had a great trip up north as a team and are excited to continue to work hard and keep developing as pairs and as a team.”
After a week off, SBCC will be back for matches at Irvine Valley on Feb. 24.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.