After dropping their past two Orange Empire Conference (OEC) matches, the Riverside City College women's volleyball team hit their home hardwood with plans of getting back on the right track. They hosted the Pasadena City College Lancers in non-conference action and it came down to the wire, but the Tigers prevailed in five sets with set scores reading 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-10.
Riverside got off to a sluggish start, but began to swing well towards the ladder part of the first set. They trailed by as much as four, but quickly regained the lead after stringing together a 7-0 run highlighted by kills from sophomore outside hitter Julia Balancier and a service ace from freshman outside hitter Vashti Elias-Romero. They eventual took the set after Pasadena City recorded an attacking error.
However, the Lancers charged back to take the following two sets to put Riverside in a deep hole.
The fourth set was strictly business for Riverside as they charged out of the gates on a 10-4 run. In that span, sophomore outside hitter Kiara Oregon came off the bench and hammered home a pair of kills. Elias-Romero added some cushion to the lead with a kill to bring the score to 19-8.
Despite an 8-3 run by the Lancers to bring them within three points, an Oregon kill capped the set in the Tiger's favor thus pushing the match to five sets.
The fifth set was a nail bitter. Both teams traded points that lead to an eight-all tie just before the switch. However, a 5-2 run fueled by two Elias-Romero kills handed Riverside a five-set victory.
Elias-Romero was as dynamic as ever by recording a team-high 15 kills to go along with two services aces and 14 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Telanni Childs backed her with 10 kills, followed by Balancier's eight kills. Balancier also notched 25 digs which acts as a season high mark.
It would be an understatement to say the sophomore libero Natalie Escher was on point. She was everywhere she needed to be on the floor as seen in a season-high 32 digs. She added three assists and a service ace as well.
Sophomore setter Taylor Gardner was the gear to the offensive success by serving up a game-high 30 assists which is just four shy of her season best.
Riverside (12-6, 5-3 OEC) will return to conference play by facing off against the Orange Coast College Pirates on the road Friday, October 19 at 6 p.m.