Brahmas overcome resilient Mauraders

The No. 6 ranked Brahmas made four consecutive wins as they got the win over the Antelope Valley College’s (AVC) Marauders in straight sets (25-19, 25-16 and 33-31). With the win they improved their overall record to 8-6, and remained unbeaten in conference (3-0).

In the first set, both Pierce College and AVC came out swinging in a duel battle. Both teams took the lead at some point in the match.  However, Jake Kessler had the kill that gave the team set one (25-19).

The Marauders had a great start in the second set and had a four point lead, but it was not enough to stop the Brahmas. The team made six straight points and took the second set (25-16).

AVC made every effort to avoid a sweep as both teams went back and forth. However, the Brahmas prevailed and ended up winning the third set (33-31).

Walker said that their opponents played a great game and that the Marauder’s overall record does not reflect who they are as a team.

“AVC played a great game and by no means their record does not dictate on how good some of their players are,” Walker said.

Walker said his team came prepared for this game and that they did well on passing.

“We came in prepared for a good match today. I think we did a good job on our passing, which allowed us to run our offense,” Walker said. “I think right now we are looking at what happens in conference. We are 3-0 in the conference and we have to play two more teams twice such as Moorpark and AVC.”

AVC head coach Mark Cruz said his team played well, especially in the third set, but said that there is still room for improvement.

“Our team fought well, but we still have a lot of things to work on,” Cruz said. “We almost got it together in the third set, and we have some personal errors that hurt us. But overall, Pierce is a really good team, so we can not put our heads down on this.”

It was also a special reunion for two long time friends. Cruz and Walker are both Pierce alumni and the two are former teammates from the Volleyball team.

“Cruz was sophomore and I was a freshman when we played together,” Walker said.  “It is an honor for me to coach against a friend and former Brahma.”

Cruz explains what it is like to return to where it all started for him.

“It is an honor for me to be here and it’s great being home again,” Cruz said. “I love playing this sport and I miss playing it, because some of my greatest memories were here at this gym.”

Brent Norkus, middle blocker, said the confidence level is high, even though there are small areas they have to work on heading to the final games in conference.

“Overall, I think we played pretty well, but there are some things we definitely need to work on,” Norkus said.  “So far our confidence level is pretty good, but we have to get some things in fine tune before going into the playoffs which is what we are working in practice everyday”.

Norkus also gave his thoughts on AVC’s performance and the battle they gave in the third set.

“We played against them in the preseason and they have played much better when we first saw them,” Norkus said.  “It was a little bit unexpected for us, but we end up pulling it off.”

The Brahmas’ next game is on Friday, April 6, at Moorpark College. The game against the Raiders begins at 6 p.m. In the previous match, the team ended the Raiders’ two game winning streak in straight sets.