Volleyball: Cerritos wins home opener vs. Santa Ana

Marissa Mendibles posts one of her six kills for the Falcons in their win.
Marissa Mendibles posts one of her six kills for the Falcons in their win.

It may have been a slow start for the Cerritos College volleyball team in their home opener against Santa Ana College on Wednesday night. But after the Falcons (1-1) were able to battle back to post a win in the first set, it created the momentum necessary to record the 28-26, 25-18, 12-25, 25-11 win over the Dons (0-1). Cerritos will be back in action on Friday when they travel to San Bernardino Valley College for a 6:00 p.m. non-conference match.

Trailing 14-8 in the first set, the Falcons started their comeback by scoring four consecutive points, thanks to kills from freshman Maleah Gonzales (Schurr HS) and Carissa Mendibles (Downey HS). It looked bleak after Santa Ana was serving for the first set leading, 24-20. Three attack errors and a service ace from freshman Jayda Harris-Amete (La Mirada HS) drew the teams even for the first time. The Dons served for the set two more times before freshman Marissa Mendibles (Downey HS) drove home a kill after a service error. The match closed out on another attack error.

Cerritos stayed close early on in the second set before they started to put some distance between themselves and the Dons. A trio of service aces by Marissa Mendibles aided the team in taking a 16-11 lead. Both teams struggled with their service and combined for 24 service errors on the night. The Falcons struggled in the third set and took the time between sets to regroup and come out strong in the fourth set.

They opened a quick 8-3 lead and never looked back, with Santa Ana having their fair share of troubles at the net. They hit at a negative percentage in three of the four sets and finished the night with just two kills in the final set, which helped Cerritos record the win. By contrast, the Falcons had their best hitting set in the fourth and received at least five kills from four different players.

Harris-Amete led the team with 13 kills and added 11 digs, while Marissa Mendibles and Aiyana Sierra (La Mirada HS) each contributed six kills, with Mendibles leading the team with 14 digs. Gonzales accounted for five kills and three solo blocks, with Carissa Mendibles directing the offense with 24 assists from her setter position. Freshman Breanna Lizarraga (Paramount HS) added back row assistance with 14 digs, while Carissa Mendibles also posted five service aces.

Photos by Daryl Peterson