The Irvine Valley men’s volleyball team dropped its second straight match, falling to Los Angeles Pierce in five sets in a non-conference contest on Wednesday night at home.
Pierce came out on top, 25-22, 16-25, 25-17, 18-25, 16-14.
Although it was a loss, it was a match the Lasers could still take a lot of positives from.
Irvine Valley had its chances in the fifth set. The Lasers gave Pierce, which went into the contest undefeated at 3-0, its toughest match of the season. And several players stepped up for Irvine Valley.
Sophomore middle blocker Mark Metrakos was the biggest contributor for IVC, finishing with a match-high 20 kills and six blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Kevin Campbell added nine kills and freshman libero Ryan Windisch finished with 10 digs, including a couple of sprawling efforts to keep points alive.
Sophomore setter Kevin Fiske contributed 44 assists.
IVC played some of its best volleyball of the night late in the fourth set. The set was tied, 14-14, when IVC went on a 7-1 run.
Freshman middle blocker Jeff Austin had a kill, sophomore opposite Sam Cornell killed an overpass, Austin had a block, sophomore outside hitter Kevin Ringuette fired a kill off the block and sophomore outside hitter Trevor Lund served an ace to put the Lasers ahead, 21-15.
Up, 22-18, IVC won the final three points of the set to send the match to a fifth. Metrakos had a kill, sophomore defensive specialist Garrett Komisarek had an ace and Metrakos’ tip winner gave IVC the fourth set.
Pierce led the fifth set, 10-7, but the Lasers fought back to 10-10 after a kill by Cornell, a hitting error by the Brahmas and a combo block by Metrakos and Cornell.
The teams traded side outs from there, but IVC could never take the lead. Irvine Valley saved one match point (at 14-13) on a kill by Lund.
Tied at 14-14, Pierce set up another match point on a kill by Erik Zavala. And when Austin’s kill attempt sailed long, the Brahmas had the win.
Zavala paced Pierce with 15 kills. Ryan Musick added 12 kills and Alex Jones and Daniel Williams each finished with 10 kills. Luke Yanez had a match-high 21 digs for Pierce, which improved its record to 4-0.
The Brahmas swept IVC rival Orange Coast last week.
Irvine Valley, which saw its record slip to 1-2 on the season, plays another home match on Friday.
It hosts El Camino in a 2 p.m. contest. Irvine Valley defeated El Camino to capture the preseason Long Beach Invitational two weeks ago.