After hauling in a Western State Southern Division Championship, the third-seeded Long Beach City College men's volleyball team is ready to roll in the 2017 State Championship playoffs this Friday by facing off against the sixth-seeded Fullerton College Hornets at home in the Hall of Champions Gymnasium at 7 p.m. in round-one action.
Cost of admission to the contest is $12 for general admission and $8 for students, faculty, staff, seniors, and children. Only passes permitted by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) by-laws will be accepted at the entrance. There will be $2 metered parking permits for all visitors available outside of the Hall of Champions.
The Vikings look to defend their title as they won the 2016 State Championship just a season ago by defeating Orange Coast College in four sets. With a new-look squad, the Vikings still remain dangerous as ever after boasting an overall record of 15-3 and going undefeated in a conference that owns two other top-10 teams in Santa Monica College and El Camino College.
Sophomore outside hitter Cyrus Fa'alogo (Salt Lake City, UT) helms the Vikings on the offensive front by pacing the team in kills (275), kills-per-set (5.09), total attempts (522), and hitting percentage (.377). His kills and kills-per-set marks rank tops in the state, while his hitting percentage ranks third in the state. The freshman phenome has earned double-digit kills in all but three contests with a season-high 28 hammers coming in the team's most recent victory over El Camino to clinch the title.
Fa'alogo is complimented by a pair of solid swingers in sophomore outside Travis O'Gorman (East Northport, CA) and freshman opposite Noah Taitano (Carson, CA). In 56 sets, O'Gorman has surpassed the century mark for the second-consecutive season after earning 161 total kills for a reliable 2.85 kills-per-set mark. Taitano has backed him with 96 kills and a .310 hitting percentage.
Long Beach boasts a stout set of middles that makes it difficult for an opposing team to get the wheel churning on offense. Sophomore tandem Elai Mama (Moreno Valley, CA) and Eli Garcia (Bellflower, CA) are a swinger's nightmare. Mama has risen for a total of 75 blocks which is ranked second in the state. He owns a 1.23 blocks-per-set mark which is fifth-best in the state. Garcia backs him with 60 total blocks with six going as solo stuffs. His 60-block total is ranked fourth in the state, while his 1.09 blocks-per-set mark is sixth-best in the state.
Trejo paces the Vikings in assists with a total of 379 which is good for 10th overall in the state. Additionally, he ranks 10th overall in the state in assists-per-set at a mark of 7.29. Trejo has recorded double-digit assists in 13 contests and has surpassed the 20+ mark nine times. He recorded a season-high 55 assists in a five-set thriller against top-ranks Orange Coast College. Furthermore, he recorded 80 digs and notched five service aces.
Ashment has been equally as impressive by amassing 226 total assists leading to a 5.02 assists-per-set ratio. He has earned double-digit assist marks in 10 games on the season and has surpassed the 20+ assist mark four times. His serving is a strong suit as he ranks second on the squad in service aces with nine. He provides a nice change-of-pace by providing a lengthier option in the middle leading to 16 blocks.
Fullerton finished third in the Orange Empire Conference behind the top-seeded Orange Coast College Pirates and the second-seeded Irvine Valley College Lasers. They capped off their season with an overall record of 12-8 and a conference record of 4-4.
Offensively, the Hornets look to sophomore opposite Manny Andrade (Santa Ana, CA) who paces the team with 255 kills. Freshman middle blocker Kyle Young (Yorba Linda, CA) is the most efficient threat with a .530 hitting percentage leading to 146 kills.
Sophomore setter Dale Irvin (Placentia, CA) leads the state in assists with 717, while freshman libero Greg Gilmore (Aransas Pass, TX) leads the team in digs with 158.