Men’s volleyball wins first conference game

Pierce College’s men’s volleyball team battled their way through four sets Friday at Santa Monica College and walked away having won their first Western State Conference League match.

Pierce won the first set but gave up the second to SMC, but then turned it around for the next two sets to win the match (25-21, 20-25, 31-29, 25-15).

This is Lance Walker’s first year as the team’s head coach. This match, being the team’s first league game, Walker felt marked an important win on the road to the playoffs.

“This is a huge win for us. The goal today was to come in here to SMC, get a win at all costs, no matter what, and do that with Brahma poise,” Walker said. “I’m really proud of the guys.”

The coach acknowledged that the team hasn’t made playoffs in six years, and he wants to keep his players focused to get as far through the season as possible.

“Our goal is to make playoffs first,” Walker said. “We’re all battling for a state championship. But in this complicated game that we play, I think it’s important to simplify and give these guys realistic goals to maintain.”

Walker and the Brahmas were up against a team lead by head Coach John Mayer and assistant Coach Dhiraj Coats, all of whom are Pierce alumni and played together at Pepperdine University.

“Part of me is a Brahma,” Mayer said. “It was exciting. Anytime you go into overtime in a set it’s really fun. It’s a challenge for our guys.”

Coats admired the nostalgia brought on by a battle of evenly-matched teams.

“It’s always a special game when you’re playing against your alma mater,” Coats said. “It was good match. It was a battle.”

Walker touched on a pivotal point in the match brought about by freshman opposite hitter Corey Pitt.

“Today, I really felt that Corey Pitt came through for us in the third set with his serve,” Walker said. “But most of all, it was one defensive play that it came down to, really changing the momentum.”