All five pairs of the Riverside City College beach volleyball team participated in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) Individual Pairs Championships on Thursday afternoon with a chance to advance to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern Regional tournament. The Tigers earned three wins on the day, but only no. 6-seeded Natalie Escher and Vashti Elias-Romero remain standing after advancing to the round of 16.
Escher and Elias-Romero, who have been paired up for the entirety of the 2019 campaign, awaited their first round match up and played the winner of one of eight play-in matches. Orange Coast's Lily Johnson and MacKenzie Bill earned the berth to the round of 32 to face off against RCC's top duo.
Escher and Elias-Romero got off to a strong start by dominating the first set by the final count of 21-9. They dropped the second set by the final score of 16-21, but rallied back to take the third set 15-9. They advanced to the round of 16 to face off against Cypress' No. 11-seeded Kayla Owens and Alisha Ormand.
It is the second-consecutive season that Escher has advanced to the round of 16 after she advanced to the CCCAA State Championships round of 16 in 2018. It would be Elias-Romeros first-career regional appearance.
No. 14 seeded Sadie Arganda and Telanni Childs fell in the round of 32 in two sets to Cypress no. 19 seeded Jane Woodward and Danielle Lopez (19-21, 13-21). No. 24 seeded Patricia Brucks and Jasmine Urban also fell in two sets to Orange Coast's no. 9 seeded Camryn Kaina and Rylee Adair (16-21, 12-21).
Riverside reigned supreme in both of their play-in matches with no. 36 seeded Roni Lopez and Morgan Spencer pulled an upset over Golden West's no. 29 seeded Jennifer Pham and Abby Botana (18-21, 22-20, 15-10). Madison Hernandez and Robyn Collier defeated Cypress' no. 35 seeded Alondra Lamas and Savannah Johnson (21-17, 21-18). However, both pairs fell in the round of 32 in two sets.
Escher and Elias-Romero will look to reach the CCCAA Southern Regional playoffs on Friday, April 26 at 10 a.m. at Irvine Valley College.