First two weeks of the 2021 volleyball season have come and gone and the MJC Pirates are undefeated, something that has not been done in over a decade.
The Pirates toughest test was against the Solano College Falcons at home this last Friday. The Falcons enter as the current Bay Valley Conference Champions, three straight years (2019, 2018, 2017) and out sized the Pirates at the net. With aggressive serving, and a balanced offense, the Pirates beat the Falcons 3-1.
Set one started as a point for point battle as expected, with 4 lead changes up to 8-8. Pirates pulled ahead behind some strong serving, going on a 17-7 scoring run to close out the set, 25-15. Six Pirates contributed points, led by freshman Brionna Sims (Pitman HS) with 5 kills. DS Stella Brierly (Sierra HS) led all Pirates from the service line with 7 attempts, no errors.
Set two was all Falcons who held the Pirates to a .024 hitting percentage. Falcons win 25-15.
Set three did not disappoint Pirate and Falcon fans. The Falcons held the Pirates to a 2-point lead until the Pirates earned a 5-point lead at 17-12. After a Solano timeout, and some Pirate errors, the Falcons fought back to tie the set 20-20, and take the lead 20-21. The Pirates earned 2 points to force Solano to call their second time out, MJC up 22-21. Pirates got their first set point after a kill out of the middle from Elizabeth Johnson (Turlock HS). Pirates commit a service error but get another chance after an outside attack kill from Sims. Falcon's setter catches MJC defense on their heels with a quick dump to tie the set at 25-25. The Pirates miscommunicate on offense and give the Falcons their first chance at set point, 25-26, MJC calls timeout. Pirates come back out and get two kills on the outside from Ava Chiesa (Turlock HS), MJC second set point, 27-26. Solano won't back down and get a kill of their own on the outside, tied up gain 27-27. Pressure is on and Solano and MJC trade service errors, tied again 28-28. Setter Lanai Torres (Orestimba HS) finds the hot hand of Chiesa in the backrow for an attack, Pirates earn third set point, 29-28. Libero Camryn Wong (Beyer HS) serves for set point number 4. Solano runs a clean outside attack, Wong digs, Torres gets the ball to the Pirate's leading scorer, Sims, who puts it away for set point, 30-28.
Set four was all the Pirates. Pirates earned their first match point at 24-16. Solano was able to hold off three match points before MJC head coach Brenda Moser called a timeout, 24-19. Pirates get back on the court, and side out on the first play with a perfect pass from Wong, feed to the middle from Torres, and Johnson with the final kill to end the match 25-19.
Sims led all attackers with a carrer high 18 kills. Chiesa earned her career high kills and second career double-double, 14 kills-11 digs. Torres notched a career high in assists while earning her second career double-double as well, 46 assists-13 digs. Four Pirates turned in double digit digs (Wong-28, Torres-13, Chiesa-11, Kylie Kriese (Gregori HS)-10).
Up next for the Pirates:
Pirates set sail for their first road trip. Pirates will face two strong opponents, Cuesta College and College of the Sequoias, in Visalia on Wednesday 9/8/21.