The third time was not the charm. Playing in the playoffs for the third time in the past four seasons, the Pirate volleyball team fell at Pasadena Saturday night, 25-13, 25-19, 28-26. Bryanna Lovingood led VC (12-13) with eight kills and three blocks while Caryssa Castrejon recorded 13 digs and five kills. Seeing her first action in nearly a month, Taylor Benitez-Fanslow had six kills.
VC, which had not played a match in eight days, held an early 5-4 advantage in the first set, and pulled to within 11-10 on a kill from Madeline Bolish. The Lancers took control at that point, however, with two kills and a service ace, racing to a 15-10 lead. Kills by Janessa Simental and Castrejon gave the Pirates a brief reprieve, but Pasadena continued the offensive, scoing the last nine winners of the set in the 25-13 win.
Attack errors by the Pirates gave PCC an early edge in the second set as Ventura trailed 5-1. A pair of winners from Lovingood combined with two Pasadena hitting errors brought VC back to within 9-8, and Benitez-Fanslow's kill evened the score at 11-11. The Pirates took a brief 12-11 lead, but Pasadena came back to win eight of the next 10 points to go ahead 19-14. That was all the Lancers needed as the took the second set 25-19.
The Pirates kept up the fight, however, racing to a 10-1 advantage in set three with kills from Simental, Bolish and Benitez-Fanslow. VC led 13-5 on a block winner by Alyssa Mendez and Lovingood, but Pasadena would not be denied. They reeled off seven straight winners to climb back into the set and evened the score at 17-17. Ventura held a late 21-20 lead but the Lancers scored the next two winners to gain the upper hand. Benitez-Fanslow recorded the kill as VC faced its first match point, but the Pirates could not hold off PCC, falling 28-26 in the third set.