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Women's Volleyball: Riggs helps OCC roll

Sophomore outside hitter compiles 23 kills as Pirates sweep IVC and remain unbeaten, tied atop conference.

October 10, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
  • Orange Coast College's Karlee Riggs, right, scores a point as her shot goes past Irvine Valley's Avae Masaniai in an Orange Empire Conference match on Wednesday.
Orange Coast College's Karlee Riggs, right, scores… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — There is more than a month left and 10 Orange Empire Conference matches remaining in the regular season for the Orange Coast College women's volleyball team.

And while the Pirates, unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the state, remain tied atop the conference standings with Golden West (both at 4-0) after Wednesday's sweep of visiting Irvine Valley, there are those who believe the Pirates' 2012 Orange Empire title may already be Rigg(s)ed.

Sophomore outside hitter Karlee Riggs pounded a match-high 23 kills to punctuate a 25-18, 25-23, 25-21 triumph that left little intrigue among both coaches, as well as most in attendance, about the biggest weapon in OCC's gym.

"[The Pirates, now 10-0] are just really good," IVC Coach Tom Pestolesi said. "And Riggs can bail them out of a lot of trouble, which everybody knows. No matter where she is, she's got a pretty good chance of scoring. She's good."

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Riggs hammered away from the back row, in the middle and at the (outside) pin against the Lasers (8-2, 2-2), ranked No. 11 in the state. Riggs collected eight kills in the each of the final two sets to go with seven in the opening game. She did not have a hitting error until late in the third game and consistently found the floor whether she was hitting off, through, over or between blockers.

"We've had some great outsides, starting with Lauren Wilson and Katja Muller and Kiwi Winkler," OCC Coach Chuck Cutenese said. "And [Riggs] is just that next person in that line. It's great to throw the ball up to her and know that we are going to get an aggressive swing on it."

The Pirates, who now play four straight road matches, including an Oct. 19 date at Golden West, were once again aggressive from the service line against IVC.

And though the Pirates recorded only three aces, their darting and diving float serves, including some that just cleared the net and some that were driven to the back of the court, gave the Lasers trouble.

"They serve as tough as anybody we've ever seen," Pestolesi said of the Pirates. "They hit their areas within a two-square-foot box better than anybody. On top of that, they have a couple good arms and that's a pretty good formula to do well."

Riggs, sophomore setter Allison Lumsden and sophomore opposite Isabel Emrich each had one ace for the winners, who have swept nine opponents this season. The only team to win a game against OCC is Fullerton.

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