Volleyball out in first round of playoffs

The Pierce College’s women’s volleyball team was flowing at the end of the season after winning three straight going into the playoffs, but someone forgot to tell Cypress outside hitter Lindsey Ray.

Ray was all over the Brahmas with 19 kills. Pierce was quickly ousted by the Chargers in straight sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-19) on Tuesday, Nov. 25 in Cypress.

“She plays high above the net, she plays fast and she was athletic,” said Pierce College head coach Nabil Mardini about Ray. “However the game plan was not to stop her. The game plan was to actually stay focused on our side and we knew that she was going to get her kills, we just wanted to serve better.”

Pierce started the game off slow and faced an early 8-0 deficit in the first set. The Brahmas bounced back after being down by as much as 12 points to close the gap to two points late in the set, 23-21. However the Chargers would outlast the Brahmas scoring the last two points to finish the set.

“We pushed the whole time but it just didn’t end up happening,” said Pierce outside hitter Autumn Russell. “In that first set we let a lot of points go and we probably would have been ahead had we not given up those early eight points.”

In the second set Pierce was able to dictate the tempo and for a while it seemed that the Brahmas were going to keep Ray at bay with strong blocking performances from Alexandra Bowman and Chelsea Lawrence. After leading 18-17 in the second set, Pierce was unable to match Ray who scored three of the last four Chargers’ points off of kills.

“I just wanted to thank my team because without them I definitely would not have played as good,” Ray said.

The second set was the last time the Brahmas would challenge the Chargers and would go down quietly in the third and final set of the season for the Brahmas.

Cypress head coach Nancy Welliver talked about the need for better passing but was over satisfied with the result.

“We actually usually have a little bit more firepower than them and we have to pass better,” Welliver said. “But we served tough and we play scrappy defense and keep getting the balls to the hitters and that is what seems to work for us.”

The Brahmas will only be losing two sophomores with the rest of this year’s team being all freshman as they look to find their competitive edge having just won a state title two years ago.

“I think this team worked hard and I think we got better,” Mardini said. “Our numbers got better over the season and that’s all I can ask for. I just want to make sure that the curve they were on got better. Whatever curve you’re on. Whether it is incrementally or a decent chunk, it doesn’t matter. Look at what this team did. They got better and better especially the last couple of weeks in the season.”