SANTA BARBARA - Santa Barbara City College played the first intercollegiate women's volleyball match at East Beach on Friday and came up short in a 5-0 loss to Mt. San Antonio.
The Mounties (4-1) were playing their fifth match of the season. The Vaqueros' No. 3 and No. 4 teams were playing their first beach volleyball matches ever.
"A lot of our players were really nervous because for some of them, this was their first beach volleyball match," said SBCC interim head coach Samantha Calisto. "After the nerves settled a little, I thought we competed really well at all levels. We have a lot of growing to do this season because our experience level is lower than it was in previous years [when they had a club team]."
The Vaqueros started the match down 1-0 since they couldn't field a No. 5 team.
The third and fourth matches began the day and Lindsey Lane/Alysha Tullar of Mt. SAC won the first-ever women's intercollegiate match at East Beach, topping Lily Eaves and Annie Rodgers 21-10, 21-14.
Michelle Orgel and Maddie Meyer lost at No. 4, 21-12, 21-11, and the Mounties got the decisive third point.
McKenzie Garrison and Grace Trocki, two players who enjoyed standout two-year careers as indoor players for the Vaqueros, teamed up for the first time in the No. 1 match. They led Juliana Gomez/Samantha Neely 5-2 and 8-6 in the opening set before the Mountie duo finished on a 12-7 run to post a 21-16 victory.
"It was exciting to play our first match ever," said Garrison, a 5-9 sophomore from Sun Valley, Idaho. "We came out pretty strong but there's a lot of things we need to work on. I was very nervous and we were excited to be here. We need to work on serve receive, serving aggressively, calling the shots and making the shots."
The Vaqueros' top team fell behind 8-2 in the second set of the best-of-3, then rallied with a 5-0 run to pull within a point, 8-7. Garrison made an outstanding bump pass on the run and Trocki made a stuff block for the fifth point, which was their most exciting point of the match.
Jacque Ortegon/Emma Esparza played the No. 2 match and led 9-6 in the second set. It was tied at 18-all, then Malia Carr and Shaiann Palos reeled off three straight points to end it.
"I learned that our players do a really good job of supporting each other from the sideline," said Calisto. "Our players are motivated to work hard to get better and I know we're going to have a lot of improvement this year."
Mt. SAC 5, SBCC 0
1. Juliana Gomez/Samantha Neely (Mt. SAC) def. McKenzie Garrison/Grace Trocki 21-16, 21-11
2. Malia Carr/Shaiann Palos (Mt. SAC) def. Jacque Ortegon/Emma Esparza 21-16, 21-18
3. Lindsey Lane/Alysha Tullar (Mt. SAC) def. Lily Eaves/Annie Rodgers 21-10, 21-14
4. Macy Barnes/Jessica Morse (Mt. SAC) def. Michelle Orgel/Maddie Meyer 21-12, 21-11
5. Brianda Valdez/Jocelyn Portillo (Mt. SAC) won by default
(Dave Loveton, Santa Barbara City College Athletics)