Volleyball (W)

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Knights Punch Ticket To State Quarterfinals With Comeback Win Over Pierce

11/26/2017

The Knights' impressive run continued on Saturday night with an upset victory over No. 5 seeded Los Angeles Pierce that propelled them into the state championship quarterfinals for the first time ever. 

After falling behind 2-1, the PCAC South champions rallied back to defeat the Brahmas in a nail-biting five sets (19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 16-14). The victory was the Knights' second consecutive upset of a lower seed  in the playoffs and third straight win overall. They own the best record in team history at 23-3.

Sophomores Lyssette Serna and Brielle McKinnon led the offense with 14 kills a piece. McKinnon had a season-high 20 digs, while PCAC South Co-MVP Serna recorded her 17th double-double with 16 digs. 

With the match tied at 1-1, the Knights were looking good in the third set after taking a 15-9 lead, but they couldn't hold on and Pierce came back to take it, 25-23.

It was back-and-forth in the fourth set with momentum swinging every couple points. The Knights, however, pulled out a 25-23 win of their own to force a fifth and deciding set. 

Pierce had a strong start to that fifth set and took a 7-3 lead, but like so many times this season, the Knights showed their resiliency and fought their way back in to an 11-11 tie. There were ties at 12-12 and 13-13, then Pierce had match point when they went ahead 14-13, but City scored the next three points on kills by Julia Ferraro, McKinnon, and McKinnon again to win a thrilling set, 16-14, and the match. 3-2.

"I think we played with a lot of heart," said Knights' Head Coach Dede Bodnar. "Pierce is a great team and we did some great things, but we didn't stay in our game plan completely and I think that's because Pierce was such a tough serving team, but they [SDCC] fought so hard. That was heart at the end of the game because Pierce is a great team and it could've been anybody's game."

The state championship tournament will be held at Solano College in Fairlfield, Calif. beginning on Saturday, December 2. As the No. 4 seed from Southern California, the Knights will meet the No. 1 seed from North, Cabrillo College (29-1), at 9 a.m.

The winner of that quarterfinal will advance to play either MiraCosta or San Joaquin Delta in the semifinals at 7 p.m. the same night. 

"If we keep focusing on what we can do, I think we're gonna take it pretty far and surprise a lot of teams," said Bodnar before knowing City's quarterfinal opponent. They're great girls and I"m excited for this group."

Saturday's match will be broadcast live by SoCal College Sports. Link to YouTube channel.

Box Score

CCCAA State Championship Bracket
State Championship Fact Sheet