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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

SBCC Volleyball Pushes Top-Ranked Orange Coast to Five Sets

SBCC rallied to tie No. 1 Orange Coast 2-2 on Saturday night, then dropped a 15-9 decision in the fifth set of a thrilling non-conference men’s volleyball match at the Sports Pavilion. The scores were 25-23, 25-19, 28-30, 21-25, 15-9.

The Pirates, led by sophomore outside hitter Kyle McCauley, improved to 15-0. The sixth-ranked Vaqueros fell to 7-4.

“They’re an extremely physical team and that’s the best team we’ve played all year,” said OCC coach Travis Turner. “Jon (Newton) has all the pieces, they match us in the middle size-wise and they’re a very good team.

“McCauley was big for us tonight, especially in the fifth set. This was a good win for us. We’ll see them again, I guarantee it.”
The only way Orange Coast could play the Vaqueros again would be in the state tournament.

McCauley had four kills in the fifth set, including the last two points of the 2-hour, 2-minute match. The Pirates jumped out to leads of 4-1, 9-3 and 12-7 in the final set.

Calvin Sanborn led the Vaqueros with 22 kills and nine digs. Trent Lingruen tied his season high with 17 kills and 10 digs. Blake Lockhart added 12 kills and 10 digs while middle hitter Zac Pittard had seven kills, hit .412 and made five blocks.

Aaron Letvin had a season-high 43 assists and a team-high 15 digs. Chayton Clark added 14 digs.

“We came into this knowing we were just as good as they are,” said Lingruen. “Our communication was really good tonight and so was our serve receive. Our energy was awesome because it was ‘Ed Gover Night’ and we had a lot of fans. This showed us what our potential can be.”

The Vaqueros honored their 28-year women’s volleyball coach Ed Gover before the match. He recently announced his retirement after compiling a 378-216 record and 11 WSC championships.

There were 16 ties in the first set and the Vaqueros took a 23-21 lead on quick reaction kill by Sanborn. The Pirates scored four in a row on a block and three Vaquero hitting errors to take the set 25-23.

OCC jumped ahead 12-6 and 18-7 in the second set before the Vaqueros rallied to within four (20-16) on a block by Pittard. McCauley capped the 25-19 win with a kill and a block.

The Vaqueros trailed for a lot of the third game and tied it at 21, 22 and 23-all. The Vaqueros had four set points and the Pirates had match point at 28-27 but a long serve tied it for the home team.

Sanborn blocked a ball for a 29-28 lead and then Lingruen delivered one of his three aces to cap the longest set of the year in SBCC’s favor, 30-28.

“It was a great match against the best team in the state,” said SBCC coach Jon Newton. “They have a lot of depth and a lot of polished players that play high-level volleyball. They block well, they keep the ball in play and they have high IQs, so it’s tough to score on them. We rose to their level tonight.

“We just went out and played in sets 3 and 4. We stayed within ourselves and realized we can go punch-for-punch with these guys as long as we don’t try to do too much. Falling behind in the fifth set is tough because it’s such a short set.”

Orange Coast had a 42-5 set record coming into Saturday’s match.

“Trent and Calvin were fired up in the third and fourth sets,” Newton added. “They weren’t scared out there. OCC’s best quality is their blocking and those two guys challenged their blocking and stayed within themselves.”

The Vaqueros have a big week next week with WSC matches at No. 3 Long Beach on Wednesday and home vs. No. 5 Moorpark on Friday. 

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