Pirates prep for Vikings in Southern California Regional opener

Pirates prep for Vikings in Southern California Regional opener

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's volleyball team will head up the 405 Freeway on Tuesday night to take on the Long Beach City College Vikings in the opening round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs, beginning at 6 p.m.

After finishing in a three-way tie for second place in the always-tough Orange Empire Conference, the Pirates (18-6) earned a No. 9 seed in this year's regional and will take on No. 8 Long Beach (20-7), a team OCC swept in three sets back on Sept. 13 at LBCC (25-18, 25-19, 25-22).

OCC has five steady weapons to choose from on offense, including sophomore opposite Bailey Coffin, who leads the team with 219 kills to go along with 246 digs. Freshmen MB Joceline Martinez (201 kills, 59 blocks, 76 digs) and OH Mahina Kenoi (187 kills, 298 digs) compliment Coffin up front, with sophomore MB Lily Johnson (175 kills, 70 blocks) and freshman OH Lucrezia Lualdi (174 kills, 195 digs) further layering the depth of the Pirate offense and defense.

Freshman setter Thea Snider has been the pace-setter on the floor with a team-best 786 assists to go along with 209 digs and 19 aces, while libero Terri Takita-Robins has anchored the defense with 418 digs.

It's been a record-setting season for some OCC players. Johnson's 141 career blocks are tops in the history of the OCC program and she's one block away from tying last year's total of 71, which is fourth-best for one season in school history.

Takita-Robins' 418 digs are currently eighth-most for one season in OCC history, while Snider has reached eighth all time for one season with her 786 assists.

For the Vikings, who finished runner-up to El Camino in the South Coast Conference, sophomore Brooke Earkman leads their offensive attack with 314 kills to go along with 244 digs and team-best 27 aces. Freshman hitter Callissa Candalot is close behind with 240 kills, while sophomore slugger Anisa Lopez has 205 kills and 184 digs. Settter jillian Petnicki paces the offense with 455 assists, while defensive specialist Celestial Ropati anchors the LBCC defense with 363 digs.

The winner of Tuesday's match will take on the winner of Tuesday night's matchup between top-seeded Irvine Valley (23-0) and No. 18 seed San Diego City (15-10) on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. Log on to www.occpirateathletics.com for the latest playoff information as it becomes available.