The SBCC women’s volleyball team will play at Orange Coast on Saturday for a berth in the State Championships.
The Vaqueros face the Pirates in the Southern California Regional Final at 5 p.m.
SBCC advanced to the regional final with a five-set upset of No. 3-ranked San Diego Mesa. The scores were 17-25, 26-24, 25-18, 10-25, 15-13.
“It really was a true team win,” SBCC coach Kat Niksto said. “I can’t emphasize enough how much heart and soul this team has and how one player will step up when another is struggling. “
The Vaqueros regrouped after a third-set blowout.
“We had our momentum ripped out in a forgettable 4th set, where we couldn’t pass a ball and get any solid attacks working,” said Niksto. “I’m so extremely proud of our fight in set five, however. We started it down, then lost a player to an ankle injury, but we never gave up and our serving and never-give-up defense brought us back into the game point-by-point.”
Opposite Caroline McCarty led the team with 14 kills and four blocks to go along with nine digs. Fellow outside hitter Ava Guenther was second with 11 kills and provided two huge, momentum-changing blocks.
Emma Crabbe and Mikayla Butzke shared the setting duties with 26 and 12 assists, respectively. The Vaqueros’ resilient defense was led by libero Jacelin McKie’s 18 digs, also receiving important contributions from Celia Espnioza (8 digs), Gabby Russell (6) and Jordyn Anderson.