In its final home game of the season, the men’s volleyball team suffered a tough loss against Long Beach City College on Wednesday, April 8.
Penalties and long serves had the Brahmas struggling to keep up with the Vikings, which led to a quick, three-set game. (25-15, 25-19, 25-20)
For Pierce’s sophomore players, the loss was more than just the last home game of the season. It was the last time they would ever play at Pierce in a Brahma uniform.
“It was sophomore night and I think we worried about more things than just the team on the other side,” said Pierce head coach Lance Walker. “We were worried about the refs and were worried about some other things that were going on and I think we made the game more complicated than it needed to be.”
Pierce sophomore middles Ike Nwachie and Joe Arechiga acted as towers and made numerous blocks in crucial plays in the first set.
The Brahmas started the second set strong, with freshman outside hitter Garrett Degrasse scoring the first point.
The Vikings battled to tie the set 8-8. The teams rallied back and forth for the go-ahead point, but Long Beach eventually took a 9-8 lead.
Sophomore outside hitter Anthony Stepanov made numerous kills, which got the ball back for the Brahmas.
“It was a good game. We could have done a lot better,” Stepanov said.
Walker challenged the referees after a questionable call with the Vikings two points away from winning the second set.
The referees stuck to their call and the point went to the Vikings.
Long Beach head coach Jonathan Charette and Walker went through the same coaching training system and have a great rivalry, according to Walker.
“My hats off to John. He runs a really good program over at Long Beach,” Walker said.
Despite beating the undefeated Santa Monica men’s volleyball team last week, Pierce assistant coach Bronson Oliveira said the team had trouble keeping that intensity.
“The guys game off of a big win against Santa Monica last week. It was a great win for us,” Oliveira said. “It was hard for the guys to get the same kind of intensity and energy up, so it was tough. Long Beach is a really great team. I think we just came out a little bit flat.”
The team is 7-10 overall and will play its last game of the season at Los Angeles Trade Tech College on Friday, April 10 at 6 p.m.