Warriors Split Pair of Five Set Matches at El Camino Tourney

Photo by Jason Akasaki
Photo by Jason Akasaki

TORRANCE, Calif. – It was a long day of volleyball at the El Camino College South Gym featuring three top-10 teams in the state. At the end of the day, Grossmont, College of the Canyons and the host Warriors all came out with a win.

The No. 9 Warriors edged No. 3 Canyons in the first match of the El Camino Tri-Tournament and then fell to No. 6 Grossmont in five sets in the final match of the afternoon. In between, Canyons clipped the Griffins in four sets.

For the Warriors, they played three matches this week against teams ranked No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 in the state and went five sets with all of them.

MATCH 1: ECC 3, Canyons 2 (25-22, 23-25, 24-26, 25-21, 15-13)

Jerephina Leilua had her best showing as a Warrior, leading the team with 16 kills with a .371 attacking percentage (16-3-35) while Keily Morimoto and Sarah Dyer combined to dish out 50 assists as ECC edged the Cougars in five.

Along with Leilua, Aiko Waters and Jaylin Motley were solid with 13 kills apiece while Waters added 16 digs. Glorious Owens guarded the net with seven blocks (one solo) while Kiana Takahashi had 20 digs.

The Warriors needed that collective effort to overcome the stellar play of Emily Burns of College of the Canyons. The outside hitter smashed down 38 kills on the day and hit at a .329 percentage (38-12-79) to go along with nine digs, five blocks and one service ace in the losing effort.

The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match after outhitting the Cougars .361 to .229 in the opening frame, but COC squeaked out the next two sets by the slimmest of margins including an overtime win in the third set.

After the Warriors took the fourth, both teams battled it out in the fifth as they went back-and-forth with six tie scores. The Warriors trailed for the majority of the set until an attack error from Burns broke a 10-10 tie in favor of the Warriors. The teams would be tied again at 11 but ECC never trailed again, securing a pair of match-point opportunities with a 14-12 lead. After an ace from Burns, Motley deposited a set from Dyer cross-court to beat the defense and score the victory for the Warriors in the opening match of the day.

MATCH 2: Grossmont 3, ECC 2 (26-28, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23, 7-15)

In a match that featured 43 ties, 19 lead changes and two sets requiring overtime, it was the Griffins who bounced back from a four-set loss to College of the Canyons and edged the Warriors in five sets in the last match of the day.

Waters was outstanding for ECC, posting a season-high 27 kills with a .315 attack percentage (27-10-54) to go with 14 digs. Motley also notched 20 kills and Dyer dished out 30 assists but it was not enough for the Warriors to overcome a myriad of errors.

The Warriors had more kills than the Griffins (62-52) but committed 34 attack errors along with nine service errors, 11 receiving errors and three miscues at the net, which allowed the Griffins to come away with the victory.

Felicia Marshall led the Griffins with 17 kills while Khalia Jordan added a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Sheay Isbell dished out 48 assists.

The Warriors will have a full week off before facing off against Mount San Antonio College at the ECC South Gym on Friday, Sept. 22. First serve is set for 6 p.m.