The Pirate volleyball team traveled up the coast Wednesday evening, defeating Santa Barbara City College in a thrilling five-set match 25-19 19-25 26-24 17-25 25-9. The victory was a first for the Pirates over the Vaqueros since the 2007 season, a span of 20 straight contests. Brooklyn Wallet had 13 kills to lead VC (9-3, 1-0) while Shantalle Ruiz and Kasie Spencer had 10 and nine winners, respectively. Faith Mackie recorded 29 digs to anchor the Ventura defense in their Western State Conference opener.
The Vaqueros jumped out to a 9-4 advantage in the opening set before Ventura came back to tie the score at 18-18. The Pirates scored seven of the final eight winners and took the set and the early lead, 25-19.
SBCC responded to take the second, 25-19.
The pivotal third set was a close one. After the Pirates held a 23-21 advantage late, Santa Barbara came back to tie the score at 24-24. VC won the next two points, however, and took the set 26-24.
Santa Barbara responded well, once again, jumping all over the Pirates in the fourth set, taking it 25-17 to force the winner-take-all fifth.
Ventura was not to be denied, however, jumping out to a 6-2 lead, and holding on for the 15-9 win to take the match, 3-2.
Gabby Boado had 23 assists, 11 digs and a pair of service aces while Raphaella Rosales passed out 23 helpers with nine digs. Morgan Gallagher had eight kills in the match and Kambria Dowling was the top-rated passer on the team with a 2.46 (out of 3) rating in 13 attempts, and she added 12 digs.
The Pirates at 9-3 (1-0) are off to their best start since 2015 when they began the year 13-2.
After a bye on Friday, the Pirates host Allan Hancock College on Wednesday Oct. 10. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm at the VC Athletic Event Center.