Pirates continue playoff run with four-set win over Cypress

Pirates continue playoff run with four-set win over Cypress

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's volleyball team kept its 2022 season alive with a hard-fought four-set win over visiting Cypress in the second round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs on Tuesday inside the Peterson Gym.

With 11 kills from Brisa Zapata-Reaves, and nine kills each from Emma Honea and Paige Cutwright, the fifth-seeded Pirates (20-5) advanced to the third round, where they will stay home and face the No. 13 seed, Santa Barbara City College, who upset No. 4 San Diego Mesa in five sets earlier in the evening. The Vaqueros (16-10) and Pirates will play on Saturday at OCC, beginning at 5 p.m. with the winner advancing to the eight-team CCCAA Women's Volleyball State Championships.

Having played each other twice already heading to Tuesday's playoff clash, there were no surprises for either team, but rather, who would execute their gameplan the best and for the Pirates, it was offensive balance and a stifling blocking game that outlasted the powerful right arm of Chargers' outside hitter, Shayna Martinez, who led the way with 22 kills.

Both teams went back and forth through the early portion of the opening set, but, with Cypress ahead, 16-14, Coast used an 8-2 run to pull ahead of the Chargers, 22-18. A pair of blocks by Honea and a block by Natalia Brandlin helped close the lid on Cypress' hopes for an early lead in the match as OCC closed things out from there to grab a 1-0 lead in the match.

It was ALL Pirates in the second set as a 16-5 run kicked things off for OCC and the hosts never looked back. Three kills from Cartwright, two kills each from Zapata-Reaves and Honea and blocks from Brandlin, Cartwright and Zapata-Reaves helped push OCC out in front early.

A mini-run by Cypress pulled the Chargers to within five at 16-11, but Coast pulled away once again with an 8-2 run and that was that.

It was a back-and-forth struggle for any momentum for both clubs before Cypress used kills by Martinez, Kaelie Tulette and Kaitlyn Emma Casino to grab a 16-12 advantage in the third set. Martinez refused to let Coast back in the set and the Chargers pushed Coast to set No. 4 with a 25-20 win.

With the fourth set tied at 9, the momentum-grabbing run happened for the Pirates as they ripped off 13 of the next 16 points to lead, 22-12. Cartwright came up big during that run with kills in the middle, while Brandlin joined the fun with a pair of kills of her own.

Cypress forced OCC to earn the win with an 8-1 run to get to within three at 23-20, but it was too little, too late as a pair of Cypress errors gave Coast the win, ending the Chargers' season at 17-10.

Saturday's match with the Vaqueros (16-10) will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Vaqueros upset the fourth-seeded Olympians, 17-25, 26-24, 25-18, 10-25, 15-13 to earn the trip to Costa Mesa. After starting the season 4-7, SBCC has turned its season around and is now one more upset win away from sneaking into the Big Dance.

For Ticket Information on Saturday's playoff match, CLICK HERE.