Pierce set to host volleyball state championships

Pierce College will be the home of the men’s volleyball state championships on Thursday, April 27, with the semifinals and the championship game being two days later.

According to Athletic Director Bob Lofrano this will be the college’s third time hosting a volleyball state championship in a year. Pierce hosted the men’s championship last spring and the women’s state championship in December.

“There are some schools that have never hosted and this is our third time, so we’re pretty proud of that,” Lofrano said.

The Brahmas will not be in the tournament as they were eliminated by the Santa Monica Corsairs in five sets on Friday.

Joining Santa Monica in the finals are Long Beach College, Orange Coast College and El Camino College.

Lofrano hopes the tournament gives those attending a good impression of Pierce College and Woodland Hills.

“It’s about making it a good experience for people to come to Pierce and to Woodland Hills,” Lofrano said.

Head coach of the men’s volleyball team Lance Walker thinks it is a privilege for Pierce to host the tournament for a third time.

“It’s a great honor for us and for the college,” Walker said. “It really shows what a great staff we have on board and it gives us a chance to showcase how great and historic our volleyball program is.”

Walker said  this tournament will be exciting because it will be broadcasted live and players of the past will be inducted into the Pierce College Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Kevin Barnett, one of our alumni, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Walker said. “We also have a surprise guest who will also be inducted.”

Walker said this tournament is not about individual players, but about the team as a whole. He said that he believes the entire Athletic Department embodies the spirit of a team and they often show up to support each other at their games.

“We are a true essence of a team,” Walker said. “From the staff to the bench to the crowd to the players.”

 Walker said he hopes the tournament this semester will go as smoothly as the women’s tournament did in Fall.

“The women’s tournament last semester was flawless,” Walker said.

Head coach of the women’s volleyball team Nabil Mardini explained that a lot of planning goes into the tournament for it to be successful and memorable.

“It’s about making sure that every detail is covered,” Mardini said. “There are lots of long hours to coordinate the whole thing.”

Mardini said the men’s volleyball tournament is about half the size of the women’s tournament, but the work involved still requires a lot of effort.

“The tournament is about the games, but you need to make sure you have the announcer, the DJ, the music and the officials,” Mardini said.

The first semifinal matchup will see El Camino taking on Long Beach at 5 p.m. followed by Orange Coast taking on Santa Monica at 7:30 p.m. The winners will then play on Saturday at 7 p.m.