IRVINE, Calif. – No. 7 El Camino College mounted a stellar attack all night and used big performances from Cesar Medina and Pedro Campos to upset No. 2 Irvine Valley with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-21, 25-17) victory in the California Community College Athletics Association Men's Volleyball Championship quarterfinals Friday night.
The Warriors (11-7) got 24 kills from Medina and 60 assists from Campos to help down the Lasers (15-4), avenging a four-set loss to IVC back on March 15 in Irvine. Overall, the Warriors were stellar on the attack as Campos set ECC to a .382 attacking percentage with four players posting double-digit kills.
Medina hit .452 while adding eight digs and two blocks while Victor Villarreal was nearly flawless on the night, smashing down 13 kills on 17 swings without an error, posting a .764 attack percentage. Christopher Phanngam added a double-double with 11 kills, 11 digs and two blocks while PJ Tulikihihifo added 11 kills and three digs.
The Warriors were pretty much in control all night, taking the early lead by taking the first set. ECC led 24-18 but the Lasers fought off three set points before the Warriors finally put the game away to put IVC in an early hole.
The Lasers answered in the second set, taking control early and leading by as much as six points in the set and held a 19-14 lead late. But the Warriors scrapped back with a 7-2 scoring run to tie the set. The teams alternated points before a kill by Medina and a kill from Jaden Misaalefua gave ECC its first set point at 25-24.
But the Lasers forced overtime and eventually took the set, scoring the next three points to knot the match up at a set apiece.
In the third set, the Warriors scored seven of the first 10 points to take a 7-3 advantage early. They eventually ballooned the lead to 20-14 before a 5-0 scoring run from the Lasers forced an ECC timeout with the Warriors lead cut to one.
The Lasers kept rolling out of the timeout, completing a 7-0 run to take a 21-20 lead. But the Warriors ran off the next five points to take the set and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Warriors jumped out to another lead in the fourth set, leading 15-8 at one point. ECC would not let up this time though as the Warriors took their biggest lead of the match at 20-9 and would cruise along to victory, advancing to the CCCAA Men's Volleyball semifinals on Thursday, April 27 at Los Angeles Pierce College.
The Warriors will face a familiar foe Thursday as No. 3 and defending CCCAA state champs Long Beach City defeated No. 6 Fullerton on Friday night. The Vikings swept the season series from the Warriors, edging ECC in a five-set thriller on March 31 and then beating the Warriors in four sets in the regular season finale on April 14 at LBCC.
The semifinal match between the Warriors and Vikings is set for a 5 p.m. start.