The Long Beach City College beach volleyball team battled the rest of the conference and windy conditions at Granada Beach on Friday while qualifying four pairs teams for the upcoming state competition. The Vikings duo of sophomore Jordan Diaz and freshman Tatyana Tuilaii-Umi took first place after beating Jewel Yandall and Aiko Waters from El Camino 21-9, 21-16.
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“Coming into today we just wanted to focus on our game,” Diaz said. “This week in practice we’ve been focusing on our swings and our movement with the wind. Today, with the wind as crazy as it was, that really helped out.”
The Vikings had 14 service aces in the final victory, and Diaz said she purposefully used the wind to her advantage when stepping behind the line.
“You have to learn to enjoy and play the elements, that’s part of the game,” LBCC coach Misty May-Treanor said. “I thought (Diaz and Tuilaii-Umi) played pretty consistent through the whole event.”
Diaz and Tuilaii-Umi are the No. 2 team for LBCC, and knocked off the No. 1 Vikings duo of freshmen Hosannah Vazquez and Sierra Davis in the semifinals 21-14, 21-15.
“We weren’t thinking about beating our teammate, we just concentrated point to point,” Tuilaii-Umi said.
Diaz and Tuilaii-Umi won their first match of the day over the No. 3 team from Mt. SAC 21-9, 21-9, and then took down the No. 1 Mountaineers pair 21-16, 21-11 in the quarterfinals.
The LBCC duos of Jessica Kaeka/Brooklin Mize and Isabella Alvarez/Doris Woods were the other two Vikings pairs to qualify for state.
“Misty has created such a great program here,” Diaz said. “This is our home beach, and people expect us to be great competition. We represent Misty’s name here, and we’re the team to beat because of her. I think we came out and did her proud today.”
The team and individual regionals will be announced later this month.