Brahmas cruise to title in Mesa tournament
The Pierce College women’s volleyball team defeated Bakersfield College on Saturday to win the San Diego Mesa College 27th Invitational Volleyball Tournament at Mesa College in San Diego, Calif, extending the Brahmas’ winning streak to 43 matches.
The Brahmas defeated Bakersfield in straight games 25-21, 25-16, 25-20 in the tournament’s championship match.
Pierce defeated Grossmont College 25-16, 25-19, 25-21 earlier on Saturday to earn their place against Bakersfield in the championship, after defeating Long Beach City College and Palomar College in straight games on Friday.
The Brahmas’ attack was again led by sophomore outside hitter Danetta Boykin, who finished the tournament with 52 kills spread across the four matches.
“I came in with a clear head and did my job,” Boykin said.
Sophomore setter Janelle Futch added to her 62 assists combined in the first two games of the tournament on Friday with 43 more assists against Grossmont.
The Brahmas have yet to play a fourth game in a match this season, having beaten every opponent in straight games 3-0.
Though Pierce defeated both opponents in straight games on Saturday, sophomore libero Brooke Dawson pointed out that these matches were much tougher than their previous matches this season.
“We played some really close games today,” Dawson said. “We stayed mentally tough and pulled through together.”
Pierce head coach Nabil Mardini was pleased with the way his team handled the pressure.
“We played outstanding against two worthy opponents today,” Mardini said. “Bakersfield is in our conference, so we’ll be playing them again later in the season. They’re a very good team and I’m sure they’ll make adjustments just like we will and bring everything they have when we play again.”
Sophomore outside hitter Sakurako Fujii added nine kills for the Brahmas in the championship game.
The team also combined for 15 blocks against Bakersfield.
“We played really well together,” Dawson said. “We were connecting really well between the setters and outside hitters.”
Though the team viewed the tournament as a big achievement for the season, Mardini viewed it as a learning experience.
“We did a great job serving and passing the ball to the outside hitters,” Mardini said. “But there is still plenty of things for us to work on.”
The learning experience wasn’t just for the starters.
“We had a chance to play some of our bench players,” Mardini said. “It’s always good to get everyone playing time against good competition.”
Boykin confessed that winning the tournament was important to the team, but she knew that the big prize is still ahead of them.
“It’s a big moment for us, it’s another accomplishment to add to the list,” Boykin said. “But we still need to come in to practice every day and try to get better.”
The Brahmas next game will be home in Pierce’s South Gym as Pierce faces off against Moorpark College on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.
To stay current on Pierce’s women’s volleyball team as well as all other sports, visit www.theroundupnews.com.