Unbeaten Vikings move to 16-0 to tighten grip on top spot in men's volleyball poll

Orange Coast men's volleyball
Orange Coast men's volleyball

IRVINE - Long Beach City is once again the No. 1 team in the 2018 California Community College Men’s Volleyball Coaches Association State Poll.

The Vikings, who have a record of 16-0 and won their first three matches in the Western State Conference South Division last week, have been No. 1 for all 10 weeks.

But there were some changes among the Top 10 in other spots this week.

Long Beach City stayed in the top spot after earning its toughest win of the season so far, beating El Camino in five sets on the road last Friday. Long Beach City came out on top, 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 15-25, 15-12, in a battle among the top squads in the Western State Conference – South Division. Steven Rotter had 20 kills, Andrew Perason added 12 kills and Miller Davis had 10 kills in the win for the Vikings. Victor Villareal put up seven blocks and Melbe Perez had 39 assists and Maquess Buggs added 16 assists in the win.

After Orange Coast (15-2, 5-0) came through with its two big wins against its Orange Empire Conference rivals in Fullerton and Irvine Valley the previous week, the Pirates had just one match last week and swept Santiago Canyon.

Jake Loudenback had eight kills and Colby Elder finished with 19 assists in the win.

El Camino jumped in front of Irvine Valley this this week’s poll to third. The Warriors battled Long Beach City all night in a tough, five-set loss last Friday. Matthew Donatucci had 22 kills in the defeat. Connor Payne added 18 kills and hit .412 for the Warriors. El Camino has won six of its last seven contests.

Irvine Valley dropped a spot in the rankings after dropping its first two matches in the Orange Empire Conference. The Lasers lost in three sets at OCC on Mar. 23 and then fell in five sets, 26-24, 25-21, 21-25, 21-25, 20-18 last Wednesday at home. IVC got career highs in kills from Brennan To (19) and Sean Carroll (19) in the defeat.

Santa Barbara City stayed in the fifth spot in the rankings. The Vaqueros defeated Moorpark, 25-18, 17-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-13, on the road in its lone match last week. Kyle Skinner had 18 kills and 12 digs to lead the way. Adam Simonetti finished with 50 assists and 16 digs for SBCC.

Fullerton jumped up a spot to sixth after its five-set win at previous No. 3 Irvine Valley last Wednesday. The Hornets followed that up with a sweep at Santiago Canyon on Thursday. In the win at IVC, Jacob Van Der Beek had 22 kills and seven digs, Kyle Young finished with 17 kills, Garrett Geiger had 16 kills and Brian Marquez turned in 57 assists.

Pierce went to No. 7, but leads the Western State Conference – North Division and is one of four teams still unbeaten in conference play, Santa Monica (6-6, 0-2) is No. 8, Moorpark (7-7, 1-2) is at the ninth spot and Miramar remains at No. 10. The Jets (8-7, 4-0) are another undefeated conference squad and have won seven matches in a row. Kekoa Pukahi is averaing 3.63 kills per set for Miramar.

CCCMVCA State Poll (April 2)  
Rk School Record
1. Long Beach City 16-0
2. Orange Coast  15-2
3. El Camino  9-4
4. Irvine Valley  12-4
5. Santa Barbara City  10-4
6. Fullerton  10-5
7. L.A. Pierce  8-6
8. Santa Monica  6-6
9. Moorpark  7-7
10. San Diego Miramar  8-7
Others receiving votes:
Golden West

(Brent Shaver, Irvine Valley Athletics)