Pirates fall to American River at CCCAA State Quarterfinals

Pirates fall to American River at CCCAA State Quarterfinals

FRESNO -- An incredible 2022 season for the Orange Coast College women's volleyball team came to an end on Friday afternoon as the Pirates lost in four sets to American River College in the quarterfinals of the California Community College Athletic Association Women's Volleyball State Championships, hosted by Fresno City College.

The 25-19, 25-21, 17-25, 25-15 loss capped off the season for the Pirates, who finished with a 21-6 record and a visit to the CCCAA State Championships for the first time since the 2009 season.

Brisa Zapata-Reaves led the way with 11 kills to go along with 16 digs, while Natalia Brandlin added 10 kills (no errors) and seven blocks. Emily Payne led the defense with 20 digs and the setter combo of Grace Holmgren and Kylie Terakawa dished out a combined 30 assists.

The Beavers were led by the state's second-most kill collector, Awelina Fakalata and she came through for her team with 22 kills and 19 digs. 

Coast fell behind early in the opening set as the Beavers jumped out to a 16-9 advantage. Coast responded with an 8-4 run to pull to within three at 20-17, but Fakalata ripped a pair of kills down the stretch and ARC took advantage of a pair of hitting errors to close out the opening set with a 25-19 win.

An early 5-2 lead in the second set for OCC quickly evaporated with a 6-0 Beaver run and it was a lead American River would not lose the rest of the set. Trailing 23-18, Coast again made a final comeback attempt with points in three of the next four serves to trail by two at 23-21. But a pair of attack errors by the Pirates gave the Beavers the final two points and put the NorCal's No. 3-seeded team on set away from advancing to the state semifinals.

OCC refused to go away quietly in the third set and after trailing, 10-9, the Pirates ripped off an 8-1 run to pull ahead, 18-11. Back-to-back kills by Zapata-Reaves helped kick-start that set-changing run and helped keep the Pirates alive in the match.

But it wasn't enough for the Pirates, as the Beavers regrouped and carried the play in the fourth set, winning 25-15. 

The win was the third of four-straight wins by the Northern California teams against the teams from Southern California. San Joaquin Delta, Feather River and San Mateo also posted wins, sending the four SoCal squads back down Highway 99 after just one day.

The season will be remembered forever in the OCC record books. Among those earning a spot amongst the all-time Pirate greats include ... 

  • Emily Payne -- 1,070 career digs ... tops all-time for a Pirate career
  • Paige Cutwright -- .471 hitting percentage for her career -- best in OCC history. Also, her .476 percentage this season is tops for a single season.
  • Natalia Brandlin -- 112 total blocks -- most ever for one season in OCC history. In fact, her 112 kills already have her ranked 4th in the career totals.