Volleyball: Cerritos suffers tough four-set loss to Long Beach City

File Photo: Priscilla Castillo (2) had 27 digs against Long Beach City
File Photo: Priscilla Castillo (2) had 27 digs against Long Beach City

With time running out on the Cerritos College volleyball team if they are to qualify for the Southern California Regional Playoffs, their 21-25, 25-22, 17-25, 21-25 four-set loss at the hands of Long Beach City College on Friday presented another hurdle. The Falcons (9-6, 4-6), who have now lost three straight matches, only have six more left in the regular season. Three of them are against teams that are ahead of them in the South Coast Conference standings, with the next one being a critical 6:00 p.m. match next Wednesday at third place Pasadena City College.

The rare noon start saw the Falcons fall behind, 19-11 in the first set only to battle back to within 21-18, which included a trio of Vikings attack errors. It was a 23-20 set after sophomore Jayda Harris-Amete (La Mirada HS) slammed home a pair of kills. But Long Beach City recorded two of the next three points to come away with the first set. 

Cerritos looked to return the favor, as they jumped out to an 18-10 advantage, only to see the Vikings record the next eight points to tie the set at 18-18. Freshman Jasmine Soto (Schurr HS) ended that skid with a kill, and after a pair of LBCC attack errors, the Falcons led, 23-20. They got the final two kills to win the set from Harris-Amete.

It was another offensive run by Long Beach that allowed them to open a 19-8 lead in the third set, and after eight of the next 10 points were scored by the Falcons, it was a 21-16 match. Helping the Falcons get back into the set was freshman Lillianna Peterson (California HS), who had two kills, along with sophomore Erykah Scott (Bellflower HS), who posted one. It wouldn't be enough, as the Vikings took a 2-1 sets lead with their 25-17 victory.

Needing a win to extend the match to a fifth set, Cerritos started off slowly, but found their footing and drew even at 16-16. The match was also tied at 19-19, 20-20 and 21-21 until the Vikings posted four consecutive points to clinch the victory.

Soto led the team with 14 kills and added 11 digs, while Harris-Amete recorded 11 kills. Freshman setter Leeya Rubio (Schurr HS) dished out 31 assists and posted nine digs, while freshman Priscilla Castillo (Schurr HS) leading the back row with 27 digs and added four assists. Sophomore Kaydence Portillo (Bell Gardens HS) chipped in with five kills, while Peterson finished with four.