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Pierce uses late surges to sweep Vaqueros

Pierce uses late surges to sweep Vaqueros

L.A. Pierce went on scoring runs at the end of each set on Friday night and it added up to a 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 men's volleyball sweep of SBCC in the Sports Pavilion.

Evan Yoshimoto led the Vaqueros (5-4, 0-2 WSC) with 15 kills and Shane Dyer added six while hitting .363. Middle blocker To'o To'o added four kills and four blocks with no errors and a .444 hitting percentage.

The Vaqueros took a 20-15 lead in the opening set on a back-to-back kills from Yoshimoto. Daniel Jacobs answered with a kill to ignite a game-ending 10-2 run for the Brahmas.

Leading 21-20, the Vaqueros had two straight out-of-rotation calls that gave Pierce the lead. Armen Sargysian slammed an overpass and Robby Rutecki delivered an ace serve, boosting the Pierce lead to 24-21.

"We started making some unfortunate hitting errors, hitting low in the seam and right at the block," said coach Matt Jones. "We had those two out-of-rotation calls that just killed us. We had so many opportunities in the first set and we had a lot of mental lapses. We're making it really hard on ourselves right now.

"The last two matches, we've failed to be consistently engaged for 25 points. And that last set, we were ahead at the end and we let them back in. We've really struggled to execute on the outside in our last two matches."

Pierce (4-5, 1-1) jumped on top 8-2 in the second set and led throughout. The Vaqueros cut a six-point deficit to two (22-20) on a kill in the middle and a roof block by Davis Grininger. The Brahmas produced two straight kills, however, and the set ended on a wide serve by SBCC.

Carl Mendoza had 19 digs and Drew Hogan distributed 39 assists. "That was Carl's best match of the year," said Jones. "Unfortunately, it came in a losing effort."

Santa Barbara controlled the third set, building leads of 16-11 and 20-17. Pierce rallied again with a 7-3 run and had match point at 24-23. Too evened the match for the Vaqueros and they had set points at 25-24 and 26-25 but couldn't finish it off.

Bryan Sotelo drilled a kill off the block and after SBCC hit wide crosscourt, Sotelo ended the match with a block. Jacobs led the Brahmas with 21 kills and a .429 percentage and Sotelo had 10 kills.

After a bye on Wednesday, the Vaqueros will host L.A. Trade Tech on Friday at 6 p.m.