Chargers Upset Long Beach in Epic Five-Set Comeback; Earn State Tournament Berth

Chargers Upset Long Beach in Epic Five-Set Comeback; Earn State Tournament Berth

November 30-December 2
at Solano College
Single Elimination

Friday, Nov. 30

South #1 Irvine Valley v. North #4 West Valley, 10 am
North #2 American River v. South #3 El Camino, 1 pm
South #2 Bakersfield v. North #3 Fresno City, 4 pm
North #1 Gavilan v. South #4 Cypress, 7 pm

LONG BEACH, CA – The fifth-seeded Cypress College women's volleyball team (19-8, 12-4 OEC) went on the road and upset #5 seed Long Beach City College (22-4, 7-1) in a five-set thriller on Saturday night (14-25, 25-27, 26-24, 25-22, 15-10). The Chargers will advance to the 2018 CCCAA State Championship Tournament at Solano College, where they will take on Gavilan College, the top remaining seed from Northern California, on Friday, November 30 at 4:00 pm. 

The Chargers struggled to get things going early against the Vikings. Long Beach found holes in the Cypress defense, putting down 20 kills in the opening set to take a 1-0 lead (14-25). Cypress began to figure out the Vikings' attack in the second set, however they would fall just short as Long Beach took the set and a 2-0 lead (14-25, 25-27). 

With their season on the line in a hostile road environment, the Lady Chargers dug deep to pull out a win in the third set. Trailing 15-19, the Chargers rallied to score five unanswered points led by an ace and a kill from Kayla Owens, taking the set and cutting into the LBCC lead (14-25, 25-27, 26-24). 

In the fourth set, Cypress was in control with a 24-15 lead before Long Beach made a late push, scoring seven consecutive points to make it 24-22. Head Coach Nancy Welliver was forced to take a timeout to calm her team down, needing just one point to force a fifth set. An Owens kill would put LBCC away and tie the match 2-2 (14-25, 25-27, 26-24, 25-22). 

The Lady Chargers had climbed their way back, and were just 15 points away from making their second State Tournament appearance in three seasons. Early mistakes for Cypress in the fifth and deciding set had them trailing 4-10, forcing another Welliver timeout. The Chargers proceeded with an 11-0 run, capped off by a Savannah Johnson kill, to take the set 15-10, and the match, 3-2 (14-25, 25-27, 26-24, 25-22, 15-10). 

Sophomore Kayla Owens led the way for Cypress with 18 kills, 8 digs, and 2 aces. Sophomore Marina Pilkington added 10 kills and 5 blocks, while freshman Brittany Zavala chipped in with 11 kills and 14 digs. Sophomore Khamis Berneker finished with a career-high 48 assists and Freshman Ashley Corona carried the defense with a career-high 39 digs. 

Stay connected with the Chargers through social media. Follow Cypress College Athletics on Twitter @CypressChargers. Check in with the Chargers on Facebook/CypressChargers and on Instagram @CypressChargers.