Volleyball: Season caps off with Falcons win

File Photo: Sierra Hernandez-Hardy pounded home 21 kills
File Photo: Sierra Hernandez-Hardy pounded home 21 kills

In their final match of the season, the Cerritos College volleyball team posted a four-set win over East Los Angeles College in the seventh place match of the South Coast Conference Tournament. The Falcons (2-22, 2-15, 6-18 on the court) posted a 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 25-14 win over the Huskies in a match played at Long Beach City College. Over the course of the season, Cerritos won six matches, but were forced to forfeit four of them due to using an ineligible player. The Falcons won two of their three matches this season against East LA.

In the opening set, the Huskies took a 22-19 lead, but the Falcons came back to score the last five points to take the set. That same scenario hurt Cerritos in their previous match against Mt. San Antonio, where they led in all three sets, only to see them slip away. A pair of kills from sophomore Sierra Hernandez-Hardy (Bishop Amat HS) was followed by Mirka Granoble (Downey HS) service ace to tie the match at 22-22. A kill by freshman Jackie Dixon (Gahr HS) was followed by a pair of East LA attack errors, which gave the Falcons the first set.

Feeding off that win, Cerritos scored the first six points of the second set, which included three more kills from Hernandez-Hardy and two more service aces from Granoble. They opened a 20-9 lead and were benefitted from multiple attack errors from East LA to give them points. After five straight Huskes points, another attack error gave Cerritos back the serve, where Hernandez-Hardy closed out the set with a kill.

East Los Angeles was able to regroup in the third set, with the score tied 12 separate times. The Falcons trailed 23-22, but a service error and kill from the Huskies Jimena Gonzalez forced a fourth set. Cerritos broke a 5-5 tie with four straight Granoble service aces, coupled with a Hernandez-Hardy kill for an 11-5 lead. It was a 15-11 lead before a pair of kills from Dixon, along with kills from Granoble and sophomore Brooke Winquist (Carlsbad International School, Czechia) increased the advantage to 20-11. Hernandez-Hardy capped off the best game of her career with a kill that secured the victory.

Hernandez-Hardy posted a career-high 21 kills on the night and hit a remarkable .450 percent in leading the Falcons. Sophomore Alexia Torres (Downey HS) contributed 14 kills, 14 digs and three service aces, with the trio of Granoble, Dixon and freshman Cameron Puente (Mayfair HS) each pitching in with four kills. Granoble, who dished out 39 assists, also added seven service aces and six digs, with Dixon leading the back row with 19 digs. Sophomore Lizbeth Vega (Paramount HS) had 17 digs, with the duo of Dixon and Puente combining for eight block assists.