IRVINE, CA – The Cypress College women's volleyball team (10-7, 5-3 OEC) had a golden opportunity to upset state No. 1 Irvine Valley College (12-0, 8-0 OEC) on Friday night. The Chargers had the Lasers backs against the wall, leading two sets to none, before the unbeaten Lasers stormed back to steal the match in five sets (26-24, 25-21, 23-25, 13-25, 11-15).
Entering Friday's matchup, IVC had only dropped one set all season, but the Chargers came ready to play. The Lasers were pushed to the brink, just three points away from being swept by Cypress. The Chargers led 22-20 after a kill and an ace from sophomore Kayla Owens. However, IVC rallied three straight points to take the lead and never looked back.
The Lasers dominated the Chargers in the fourth set, leading by as many as 12 points, to tie the match at two sets apiece. It was a back and forth battle in the fifth and final set, as both teams exchanged leads. With the game tied at 11 apiece, the Lasers notched back-to-back kills to regain control, winning the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.
Owens led the way for Cypress, finishing the night with 16 kills, 10 digs, and three aces. Fellow sophomore Khamis Berneker added 10 kills and 22 assists.
Despite the tough loss, Cypress is still in great position to set themselves up for a deep postseason run. The Chargers currently sit in the top half of the mighty Orange Empire Conference standings, just a game back of second place, with 8 games remaining. Prior to the loss at Irvine, the Chargers were riding a three-game winning streak with a No. 23 state ranking.
Women's volleyball will return to action at home on Wednesday night against the Orange Coast College Pirates. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
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