The Pirates did not go down without a fight. The No. 9-seeded Ventura College volleyball team dropped the CCCAA SoCal Regional Final at No. 1 Irvine Valley 26-16, 25-18, 26-24. Shantalle Ruiz had 10 kills to lead the way for Ventura (18-5) while Morgan Gallagher and Kelly Rodriguez each recorded six winners. Faith Mackie had 22 digs as VC closed its best volleyball season in 15 years.
The match was tight early with the teams locked up in a 14-14 tie in the first set. The Lasers converted four straight winners at that point, however, and took the set 25-16.
IVC jumped out to a 7-3 advantage in the second set and never looked back, posting the 25-18 set victory.
The Pirates did not go down without a fight, however, as they held a 21-18 lead after an Irvine hitting error. The Lasers, who went 27-0 in 2017 en route to the state title and who were 20-1 entering Saturday's match with only six set losses, scored the next five winners to take a 23-21 lead. The Pirates tied things at 24-24 on a service ace by Rodriguez, but Irvine proved to be too much this time out for the Pirates as they took the third set 26-24.
The Pirates closed out their 2018 campaign with their first Western State Conference North Division championship since 2005, and their first playoff victory since 2003.