Volleyball: Falcons open season with sweep over Golden West

Erykah Scott had seven kills for the Falcons in their win
Erykah Scott had seven kills for the Falcons in their win

From 1991-94 the Cerritos College volleyball team reached the state championship match and in three of those four seasons, they lost to Golden West College in the finals. The only year the Falcons didn't face the Rustlers in the finals was in 1992, where Cerritos completed an undefeated season and won their lone state title.

In their season opener on Friday afternoon, the Falcons hosted the Rustlers and defeated them for the first time since 2005 with a 27-25, 25-23, 25-23 Southern California Regional Playoff victory. Cerritos will host Santa Ana College at 6:00 p.m. next Wednesday.

Cerritos used a solid back row of defense, coupled with crisp passing to come away with close wins in each set. The teams traded the lead through the first half of the first set until Golden West opened a 15-11 lead. Coming out of a timeout, Cerritos recorded five consecutive points to take a 16-15 advantage. Then, with the match tied at 20-20, an attack error, followed by a kill from freshman Leeya Rubio (Schurr HS) put the Falcons in front. 22-20. The match was then tied three more times, and with the Rustlers serving set point, sophomore Jayda Harris-Amete (La Mirada HS) accounted for two straight kills, with freshman Jasmine Soto-Castro (Schurr HS) capping off the set with a kill.

Coming out flat in the second set, the Falcons found themselves trailing, 8-1 before they slowly started working their way back into the set. Taking advantage of several Golden West attack errors, Cerritos pulled even at 16-16 on a Rubio service ace. Going on to take a 21-18 lead, Cerritos saw the Rustlers battle back on consecutive kills and an attack error. They went on to secure the win on kills by sophomore Kaydence Portillo (Bell Gardens HS) and Harris-Amete.

A pair of service aces from freshman Priscilla Castillo (Schurr HS) helped the Falcons open an early 6-1 lead in the third set. The advantage swelled to 13-2, with Golden West recording four attack errors along the way. The theme of the third set was equal to the first two sets, as Cerritos wasn't able to pull away. Sophomore Erykah Scott (Bellflower HS) slammed home a kill for a 23-20 advantage, which didn't last long. Tied at 23-23, Soto-Castro and freshman Lilliana Peterson closed out the match with consecutive kills.

Cerritos received 10 kills and three block assists from Harris-Amete, while Scott produced seven kills without any errors to go along with three block assists. Soto-Castro was valuable in many facets on the day, as she finished with five kills, 15 digs and 12 assists, while Rubio led the way with 17 assists and had three service aces. Portillo recorded seven kills, while Castillo accounted for 12 digs, three service aces and three assists.

Photos by Daryl Peterson