Men’s volleyball owns the net

The Pierce College men’s volleyball team swiftly defeated Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on Wednesday, March 18 and ended a two-game losing streak.

The Brahmas lost to Santa Monica College in four sets on Wednesday, March 11. (25-21, 26-24, 25-12, 25-20) The team’s second consecutive loss on the road was to Long Beach City College on Friday, March 13 in three sets. (25-18, 25-18, 25-21)

In a comeback, Pierce kept its focus on the game and won in three sets. (25-16, 25-13, 25-22)

Though the team made the shutout look easy, particularly in the first two sets, Pierce sophomore middle Ike Nwachie said Trade Tech was a worthy adversary.

“Our focus for this game was to stay focused, fight hard the whole way through, and keep our energy up,” Nwachie said. “And taking nothing from Trade Tech, they played a great game. They are really scrappy, they fought for it. They’re definitely a hard-fighting team.”

The Beavers had one advantage over the Brahmas in the first set – the element of surprise.

“That first game for us, we had to test some things out,” said Pierce head coach Lance Walker. “This is a different lineup than they usually run. We don’t have a lot of numbers or scouting on these guys.”

Pierce freshman middle Joe Arechiga said that the Trade Tech lineup was an unknown.

“We didn’t know too much,” Arechiga said. “We just knew they were going to come to battle. We just had to play our game.”

Despite the air of mystery that surrounded its opponents, Pierce won the first and second sets by wide margins.

Something Pierce did know was Trade Tech head coach Mark Lee.

“Mark Lee, who’s the coach for Trade Tech, he was my assistant coach when I was a player here in 2000. He’s also a Brahma,” Walker said. “He’s a really good coach, and I respect him a lot.”

In the third and final set, Pierce changed its lineup because of an injury sustained by Corey Pitt.

“Pitt hurt his shoulder, or his shoulder was feeling a little rusty,” Arechiga said. “So we had to bring another hitter in, so more people who don’t usually get touches were allowed to get more playing time.”

The lineup change was a turn of events, according to Walker, who said he was glad to give other team members minutes.

“I told the guys it’s an honor when you can create a lead that’s so big that we can put some guys in the game that don’t necessarily get to play,” Walker said.

Pierce freshman setter David Salgado displayed impressive teamwork when he consistently set up shots for his comrades, especially Pitt, to spike against the Beavers.

“We wanted to go out there, have fun, play our game. Don’t over-complicate things,” Salgado said. “We tried to get more guys to play who don’t usually play. We wanted it to be a team effort.”

Walker said he expects the next face-off between Pierce and Trade Tech to be a bigger challenge.

“To set up for the second time we see them, I’m probably going to say they’re going to be a lot better because his [Lee’s] team is growing and getting better every single game, every single match,” Walker said.

The Brahmas’ record is 5-7 and Nwachie said this game was meant to fix flaws and build consistency before the next game against El Camino Community College.

“We really wanted to work on things we were having trouble on in practice, like our offsets, our backset, things like that,” Nwachie said. “We just wanted to make sure we had our fundamentals straight going into El Co, which is a really, really good team.”

The men’s volleyball team will take on El Camino’s Warriors this Friday at home, the second time this season the two teams will compete. The Brahmas lost their previous match – an away game – against the Warriors this season, and hope to redeem themselves this time around.

“We’ve already seen what they have,” Salgado said. “So we’re just going to try to use what we know about them and apply that to our practice tomorrow, and hopefully apply it to the game on Friday.”