The Modesto JC Pirates were all business last night in their Big 8 Conference match up with the Falcons. The Pirates dropped out of the CCCWVCA Top 25 State Rankings after spending 2 weeks at No. 24. "Going into tonight's match, we were refocused on what was at stake." Coach Brenda Moser said. "We had struggled in the last 4 or so matches, losing who we are as a team. We have spent the last few weeks working on how to find our game. They stepped up big last night!"
Freshman S Ambria Schneringer gave the Pirates a third career Triple/Double (12 kills, 24 assists, 16 digs) and Freshman OH Vanessa Quevedo had her 5th career Double/Double (12 kills, 12 digs). Libero Angel Nguyen had her first career double/double, a rare feat for a defensive specialist, with 26 digs and 11 assists.
The Pirates (11-7, 6-5 Big 8) jumped to an early lead in the first set, 5-1, but the Falcons wouldn't stay down for long. The Pirates brought good energy but could not get an offense going against a big block by the Falcons. The Pirates hit .000 with only 5 kills and 5 errors. Quevedo lead the offense with 3 kills and 4 digs. The Falcons produced a hitting percentage of .244 with 15 kills and win the set 25-14.
Pirates again started with the lead on the second set, 4-1. Falcons fought back but couldn't hold off the attack of the Pirates who regained a 5-point lead mid set. Falcons would get a few points back to bring the score to 18-17, Pirates in front. After two Falcon hitting errors, the Pirates never looked back. Nguyen picked up everything in the back court with 8 digs. Sophomore MB Sara Gonzalez got a block on the outside and the Falcons called their second timeout at 20-17. After a kill from Schneringer and sophomore OH Denae Finney, sophomore DS Annalise Workman steps in to serve and gives the Pirates 2 service aces and brings them to set point. Pirates commit an attack error, score now 24-18. Several rallies ensue, and Gonzalez finishes the set with a kill off the Falcon block.
Pirates had their eye on the prize in the third set. They go up 7-3 and never let the Falcons back in. As a team, the Pirates ran a diverse offense and produced a match high .278 hitting percentage with 14 kills on 36 attempts, committing 4 errors. Schneringer had a perfect hitting percentage with 4 kills on 4 attempts. Freshman Opp Rhiannon Genilla and Finney gave the Pirates 3 kills, Quevedo puts down 2 kills, and MB's Gonzalez and sophomore Taryq Mims each work for 1 kill. Pirates win, 25-13.
The entire gym knew the 4th set would be a battle. The No.12 ranked Falcons were focused on holding on to their 3-way tie for first place in the Big 8. The Pirates stayed close, but the Falcons would grab a 5-point lead at 15-10. Pirates would slowly earn a few points every service rotation and tie it up 21-21. Pirates commit a serving error and the Falcons follow it up with a service ace. Score now 23-21, Falcons, and the Pirates call a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Falcons have a hitting error, 23-22 Falcons. Finney steps back to serve and gets an ace, tied up again 23-23, Falcons call timeout. Falcons get a lucky roll off the tape from an right side attack and go back to the service line for set point. Schneringer returns the favor with her own attack off the tape and Nguyen steps back to serve, 24-24. Falcons commit a hitting error from the middle and bring the Pirates to match point. Falcons would swing away offensively but the Pirates never let the ball hit the floor. Nguyen makes a diving save, Schneringer sets up Quevedo who places the ball high over the defense to the corner for the match winning kill, 26-24.
UP NEXT: Pirates are at home Friday, 10/26, to take on the visiting Cosumnes River College Hawks, 6:30pm