The Pirate beach volleyball team sent three pairs to the Southern California Regional pairs Tournament Friday on the final day of the Western State Conference Championships in Santa Monica. VC's Brooklyn Wallet and Faith Mackie advanced to the final match before falling in a three-set thriller. Meanwhile, Raphaella Rosales and Vanessa Ihrke claimed third place and Jordan Neria and Morgan Gallagher finished in fifth for the Pirates.
Wallet and Mackie were the surprise of the tournament. They entered the draw as the No. 23 seed, and had played all season as Ventura's No. 4 pair. They won a three-set marathon over teammates Shantalle Ruiz and Kasie Spencer, VC's No. 3 pair, 21-16, 13-21, 15-13 to move into the semifinals. There, Wallet and Mackie faced another set of Pirates, Ventura's No. 1 duo Rosales and Ihrke, winning in another three-set instant classic, 21-17, 17-21, 15-13. In the championship match, Wallet and Mackie faced the No. 1-seed from Santa Monica. They battled down to the wire, but ultimately lost the final, 21-13, 19-21, 15-11.
Rosales and Ihrke advanced to the semifinal with a 5-21, 21-18, 15-9 victory over a team from Santa Monica. After their loss to Wallet and Mackie, Rosales and Ihrke played a team from Bakersfield, easily capturing third place, 21-13, 21-14.
On the other side of the bracket, Gallagher and Neria lost their quarterfinal match to the top-seeds from SMC, 21-19, 21-12, before defeating a team from Santa Barbara in an elimination match, 21-8, 21-17. They claimed fifth place with a 21-17, 13-21, 15-11 triumph over a pair from Santa Monica.
Ruiz and Spencer had a frustrating day with a pair of narrow losses. After falling to Wallet and Mackie in three sets in the quarterfinal round, they fell to a pair from Santa Monica in another three-setter in an elimination match, 21-16, 12-21, 15-8.
The Pirate team will be taking the sand again on Tuesday April 30 for the CCCAA Southern California Regionals. Pairings will be announced on Saturday April 27