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OCC floats past Lancers

Women's Volleyball

Float serves, Riggs and Lumsden combine to lead No. 7-ranked Pirates over No. 3-ranked Pasadena.

September 19, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
  • Orange Coast College's Morgan Link, left, and Karlee Riggs team up for a block against Pasadena.
Orange Coast College's Morgan Link, left, and Karlee… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — Like an aerodynamically challenged float serve, early season rankings can dip and dive, tailing with each new on-court tale.

On Wednesday, it was the Orange Coast College players' ability to make the ball move that figures to create upward mobility for the Pirates in the California community college women's volleyball rankings.

Coach Chuck Cutenese's Pirates, ranked No. 7 in the state, throttled No. 3-ranked Pasadena, 25-13, 25-23, 25-19, in a nonconference match at OCC.

Sophomore outside hitter Karlee Riggs blasted 25 kills and contributed eight digs to pace the winners (4-0), who have yet to drop a set this season.

Sophomore setter Allison Lumsden collected 33 assists, six digs, two aces and two kills. She was one of a handful of Pirates who kept Lancer passers off-balance by striking floaters hard from the service line.

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"We work on that," Cutenese said of the dancing float serves that emulate a knuckleball's movement, but with a fastball's pace. "Dana [Nicholson, a 5-foot-3 sophomore outside hitter] did it last year and we've seen that it creates a lot of problems. So, we've got four or five girls who can do that and we're going to be spending more time doing it."

OCC, which had three aces, two service winners and just eight service errors, wasted little time shaking the visitors' psyche, scoring the first eight points of the match.

With Riggs topping Pasadena's cumulative kill total in the opening game, 6-5, the hosts led by as many as 13 before closing out a dominant opening set.

"I saw a difference in my team in the warmup," said Cutenese, who returns six starters from a team that went 17-5 in 2011. "The girls knew where Pasadena sat and the sophomores remembered losing to [the Lancers] in five games last year. We had very few errors in Game 1."

PCC (5-1), which had lost only one of 16 games this season coming in, held an 18-16 lead in the second set. But Riggs, who had six of her kills on bic plays (swinging from behind the 10-foot line in the center of the court), had kills to account for six of the Pirates' final 10 points to help set the stage for OCC's fourth straight sweep.

"We've been talking about this [match] since we knew we were going to play [Pasadena]," Riggs said. "We played cohesively as one unit and I think that was our biggest challenge going into the match."

Pasadena opened a 4-0 lead in the third set, but OCC pulled even at 9-9 and assumed a 12-11 lead on its way to finishing it out.

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