Behind a good defensive effort and an even stronger offensive game, the Pierce College Brahmas beat the Mira Costa Spartans in three sets and advanced to the third round of the regional playoffs.
The No.2 seeded Pierce College women’s volleyball team faced off against the No. 7 seeded Mira Costa College on Saturday night in the second round of the regional playoffs. The Brahmas won all three sets (25-21, 25-19, 27-25) but Mira Costa made it a closer game than the final score shows.
The Spartans started off the game strong and took the lead in the first set but the Brahmas quickly reacted and turned the game around.
Middle blocker Shanon Volpis thought the key to the team getting back into the game and winning that set was staying focused and playing together.
“We just had to snap back into it, gather ourselves together and remind each other to just go out there and play volleyball,” Volpis said.
Outside hitter Zaire Dartis thought the team was not as focused in the beginning of the first set but the team changed that.
“We just woke up, we started off slow but then started to read the team and we ended up getting the win,” Dartis said.
In the second set the Brahmas took an early lead and started to play better defensively.
Head coach for the Brahmas, Nabil Mardini, thought the team did good on the defensive side of the ball.
“I thought we did a good job in the back row,” Mardini said. “Our blocking was off and on but for the most part we did a good job and we stuck to the plan and executed.”
The Brahmas took an early lead in the third set, but this time the Spartans would respond with a run of its own. Mira Costa tied the set at 12 and from there it was a back and forth battle as the two teams exchanged points with neither team being able to increase the lead.
Pierce had a small lead late in the third set 21-16, and tried to increase the lead but the Spartans would not go down easily and managed to comeback and tie the game. Following a time-out by the Brahmas, with the game tied at 21 in the third set, the Brahmas went up by two after two quick points by opposite hitter and middle blocker Chelsea Lawrence stopping the run that the Spartans had going.
Chelsea Lawrence liked the way the team finished the game and the way the team played overall.
“Getting those two points in a row late in the game got us pumped,” Lawrence said. “We kept our energy high the whole game and did not get down on ourselves, it’s a mental game, we played smart and we have to continue to keep playing the way we know how to play.”
Mira Costa tied the game late at 24 pushing the game longer as the winner must win by two or more points at the end of the set. The late run by the Spartans was not enough as the Brahmas only allowed one point after that and took the final set 27-25.
Pierce moves on to the third round of the playoffs as they host the No. 3 seed El Camino College on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.