Irvine Valley’s men’s volleyball team couldn’t make it two wins in a row to start the 2012 season.
In a match that had the feel and intensity of a playoff contest, Long Beach City defeated the Lasers, 25-19, 23-25, 26-24, 25-13, Friday night at Irvine Valley.
Irvine Valley’s record dropped to 1-1 overall. Long Beach City improved to 2-0.
Long Beach City won the first and fourth sets fairly easy. The two in the middle could have gone either way.
The Vikings jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the first set. Irvine Valley didn’t get closer than four points the rest of the set. Long Beach City took its largest lead of the set at 22-14 on a kill by Rob McLean.
The Vikings got to set point at 24-17 on a kill by Jo’Lon Clark. The Lasers scored the next two points, but the Vikings closed out the set on a kill by Greg Utupo.
The second set went down to the wire. Neither team led by more than four points the entire set and after IVC was up, 13-11, neither side was up by more than one point.
The set was tied at 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. Tied at 23, Irvine Valley scored the final two points to earn the win.
Sophomore opposite Sam Cornell’s kill gave IVC a 24-23 advantage and then sophomore outside hitter Trevor Lund earned a kill off the block to end the set.
It was Long Beach City that won a close third set. Long Beach City led, 21-17, but the Lasers won four straight points to get back in it.
Sophomore Kevin Ringuette killed an over pass to pull Irvine Valley into a 21-21 tie. But a Laser service error gave the lead back to Long Beach City. And a kill by Utupo put the Vikings ahead, 23-21.
Irvine Valley scored the next two points. A kill off the block by Ringuette made it 23-23. Tied, 24-24, Long Beach City came up with two in a row to earn the hard-fought set.
A kill by McLean made it 25-24 and an IVC hitting error ended the set.
It was all Long Beach City in the fourth and final set. Ahead, 6-4, the Vikings out-scored Irvine Valley, 6-2, to take a commanding 12-6 lead.
A kill by Brett Anema gave the Vikings a 20-10 advantage. Later a kill by Aniefre Etim-Thomas moved Long Beach City to match point and the Vikings picked up the victory after an IVC hitting error.
Max Wechsung and McLean led Long Beach City with 12 kills apiece. McLean added four blocks and Wechsung had three blocks. Etim-Thomas contributed eight kills and a team-high six blocks.
Irvine Valley was paced by sophomore middle blocker Mark Metrakos, who had 10 kills. Cornell added nine kills and freshman middle blocker Jeff Austin had eight kills.
Freshman libero Ryan Windisch ended with 15 digs. Irvine Valley hit just .190 as a team on the night.
The Lasers play again next Wednesday at home, taking on LA Pierce in a non-conference match at 6 p.m.