Riverside Hangs Tough with No. 1 Irvine Valley

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

When the top team in the state rolls into your gym and is carting a 36-match winning streak, people do not just come and watch – they stop and stare.

But there was no awestruck mentality swarming around the minds of the Riverside City College indoor volleyball team on Friday night as they had one objective – winning.

With the No. 1 Irvine Valley College Laser currently owning a more than noteworthy status of dominance, Riverside played them tougher than any other team this season. However, the Tigers dropped the match by the final score of 3-1.

While Riverside did not win the game, they accomplished something that only a handful of other squads have been able to accomplish in the past two years. The Tigers reigned supreme in the third set of the match by the final score of 25-23, thus making them one of the seven team to win a set against Irvine Valley in the last two seasons.

The Tigers earned the third set victory with contributions from multiple sources. Sophomore outside Julia Balancier remained a strong presence by recording 12 kills accompanied by 12 digs. It is now her fifth-straight contest with double-digit kills and digs. Freshman Vashti Elias-Romero followed with nine kills and eight digs.

Sophomore middle blocker Telanni Childs provided a much-needed spark for the Tigers that featured four total kills acting as a season-high. She added two crucial digs and one block assist. Freshman defensive specialist Sadie Arganda provided a solid hand on the back line. While the box score only reads a pair of digs for Arganda, her passing and receiving was on point thus creating offensive opportunites for others.

The exact same can be said for sophomore libero Natalie Escher. She recorded a season-high 30 digs accompanied by a pair of assists. Sophomore setter Taylor Gardner paced the team in assists with 14.

Riverside (9-5, 4-2 OEC) will continue action on the road against the Fullerton College hornets on Wednesday, October 10 at 4 p.m.