COSTA MESA -- In a battle of two of the top four teams in the state, the top-ranked Orange Coast College men's volleyball team made quick work of No. 4-ranked Irvine Valley, sweeping past the Lasers on Friday night inside the Peterson Gym.
In a match that took just over an hour to complete, the Pirates cruised to a 25-20, 25-13, 25-21 win, improving their overall record to 18-0, 5-0 in the Orange Empire Conference. The loss dropped the Lasers to 11-6, 3-2 in the OEC.
Kyle McCauley led the Pirates with nine kills to go along with five digs and three blocks. Garrett Halsey added eight kills, while Aiden Wolf-Nielsen added five kills. Setter Enzo Boggio dished out 18 assists, while libero Braden Neumann came up with a team-best eight digs.
For the Lasers, Demitre Gossette had 10 kills, while Sean Carroll added nine.
The opening match was the cleanest played for both teams as the Pirates jumped out quickly to a 14-9 lead, thanks to a pair of big kills by McCauley and Wolf-Nielsen.
But IVC battled back thanks to some strong serves by Gossette (three aces in a row) to even the set at 14, forcing OCC into a timeout.
Coast quickly responded with five points in a row, highlighted by blocks by Halsey and Jack Flynn, to push the advantage back up to five at 19-14. The Lasers would get to within three at 20-17, but OCC was not threatened the rest of the way and took the opening set.
The second set was a ragged one for both teams as several hitting and serving errors made it difficult for either team to get into any kind of rhythm. IVC made more self-inflicted mistakes and trailed the Pirates, 18-9 and Coast never looked back, taking the second set.
IVC grabbed an early 3-1 lead in the third set, only to see the Pirates pull away with a 14-6 run, thanks to a pair of McCauley blocks and a pair of Halsey kills.
The Lasers hung around and got to within three at 23-20, but it was too little, too late as an IVC hitting error and duo block by Halsey and Jake Loudenback sealed the victory for the Pirates.
Coast will return to action on Wednesday at Golden West, beginning at 6 p.m. before closing out the regular season at home against Santiago Canyon on Friday, also at 6 p.m.