The Pirate volleyball team pulled out a much-needed five-set victory Friday night, defeating state No. 20-ranked Butte College, 26-28, 25-22, 25-18, 24-26, 16-14. The Pirates scored the final five points of the match, turning back three Roadrunner match points to secure the non-conference triumph. Morgan Gallagher recorded 19 kills and 12 digs while Brooklyn Wallet had 15 winners. Julia Stalker and Gabby Boado handed out 31 and 29 assists, respectively, for the Pirates (5-8, 0-1).
After a close first set early, the Pirates fell behind 16-10 and were forced into a timeout. They were able to turn things around, however, and fought back to tie the score at 20 a few minutes later. Tatum Teel and Gallagher had big hits late as VC went ahead 24-22, and they had another set point at 26-25 after a Shantalle Ruiz hit led to a missed pass by the Roadrunners, but the Pirates were unable to complete the set victory, falling 28-26.
A big hit by Wallet in the middle, and an ace from Gallagher gave Ventura a 6-4 lead in the second set. Wallet had another kill to make it 13-8, and Raphaella Rosales hit the tip for an 18-11 lead. Vanessa Ihrke's winner put Ventura ahead 22-14, and the Pirates had set point on 24-17. Butte kept up the fight, however, and they closed to 24-22 before the Pirates were able to even the match.
Ventura continued their strong play into the third set, taking it 25-18 to take control of the match.
In the fourth, VC jumped out to a 6-0 advantage, but the Roadrunners were able to cut it back to 11-9 a short time later. The Pirates maintained their lead throughout the set, leading 20-15 before Butte came storming back with five straight winners. Rosales had a big hit on a long rally to end the Pirate slide, then Butte attacked into the net giving Ventura a two-point margin. Stalker had an ace to put Ventura at match point, 24-23, but the Roadrunners won the final three points of the set for the 26-24 win to tie the match.
Wallet and Gallagher each had kills, and Rosales recorded an ace as Ventura jumped to a 4-3 early lead in the deciding set. Butte tied the score at 8-8, and took an 11-10 lead before VC tied things up with the next winner. Then, in what could have been a devastating missed call, Butte was awarded a point on a ball that was clearly returned outside the antenna, taking a 12-11 lead. The Roadrunners used the missed call to their advantage, taking two more points for a 14-11 advantage with three match points. The Pirates kept up the fight, however, winning the next five points to capture the set 16-14, and the match, 3-2.
Teel had eight kills on just 11 attempts with a .636 hitting percentage while Rosales and Ihrke also had eight kills each in the match. Kayla Hosch ended with five winners. Leslie Perez had 27 digs and Rosales recorded 12. Boado and Stalker each hit four service aces and Wallet had three.
VC continues Western State Conference play at home on Wednesday Oct. 2, hosting LA Mission College. First serve is at 6:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center.