After the first set of Tuesday evening’s first-round CCCAA state playoff match between No. 4 LBCC and No. 13 Grossmont, it looked like they Vikings were in trouble. The Griffins’ intensity and the high-flying antics of Hawaii bounceback Shaney Lipscomb overwhelmed LBCC into a first-set defeat.
But Vikings coach Misty May-Treanor dialed up an effective serve strategy and her team rallied, going on to win easily, 23-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-12.
“After the first set we said obviously our backs are against the wall,” said May-Treanor. “I told them that as an athlete I wouldn’t want to lose at home to end the season–but they’ve got to control their own destiny. They left everything on the court.”
LBCC served Lipscomb almost every point for the rest of the match, tiring her out and slowing down the Griffins’ offense. The Vikings, meanwhile, sped it up with setter Levila Iosia guiding the team to .444, .306, and .500 hitting clips in the final three sets.
“We start off slow a lot and then we have to pick it up,” said Iosia, who agreed that serving Lipscomb was the key.
“We all watched film, we saw that she’s an emotional player, we wanted to take her out of it,” she said.
By doing so, they slowed the Griffins offense as a whole. Grossmont hit .400 in the first set and hit .000, .140, and .036 in the final three sets as they struggled to get the ball back to their big hitter.
For LBCC, Iosia was an even distributor as she usually is, with five Vikings notching at least four kills. Jessica Blakeman led the way with 17 kills on .500 hitting, backed up by 14 kills from Sierra Davis. Iosia finished with 41 assists and 13 digs, guiding her team to a .374 attack clip on the evening.
LBCC will now have a little bit of history, hosting a second-round state playoff match against Cypress at 6 p.m. It’s the first time in several years they’ve hosted a second-round state playoff match, and it figures to be one of the best in California, pitting No. 4 LBCC against No. 5 Cypress. The winner advances to the eight-team state bracket where the NorCal and SoCal teams will be combined and re-seeded.