Tigers Lose, 3-1, to First-place Cypress; Visit Saddleback Saturday & Host Gauchos Next Wednesday

Tigers Lose, 3-1, to First-place Cypress; Visit Saddleback Saturday & Host Gauchos Next Wednesday

RIVERSIDE -- Returning home after playing its previous three matches on the road, the host Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers women's volleyball team lost, 3-1, to the visiting Cypress College Chargers, 3-1, by the set scores of 26-24, 13-25, 23-25, 22-25, in an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) match Wednesday evening (Nov. 9) at legendary Arthur N. Wheelock Gymnasium.

With a combined 328 attack attempts (170 by Cypress, 158 by Riverside) and 140 digs (70 by each team), the match had the feel of a playoff match as the ball went back and forth.

Riverside City (15-8 overall, 9-5 in OEC), in the first set, trailed until the midway point before taking a 15-12 lead. Cypress rallied for a 22-19 lead before RCC came to within 22-24 before getting the next four points to win the initial game, 26-24. Sophomore outside hitter Marissa Vialpando (Moreno Valley / Riverside – Notre Dame HS '15) had nine of her team-high 18 kills and added eight of her team-high 15 digs in the first set.

In the second set, RCC trailed, 10-9, before the Chargers scored nine of the next ten points to take a 19-10 lead and cruise to the 25-13 win as sophomore outside hitter Rockelle Gholson (La Palma / Western HS) put down seven of her match-high 21 kills.

The third set had the best hitting of the match. Cypress hit .300 (18 kills, six errors, 40 attack attempts), while Riverside hit .250 (13 kills, four errors, 36 attack attempts). RCC led late, 20-19, before Gholson closed the set with a pair of kills and the Chargers won, 25-23. RCC frosh outside hitter Kellsy Russell (Jurupa Valley / Patriot HS '15) had seven kills and Wells had five digs and two block solos in the third set.

In the fourth set, RCC trailed, 19-21, before Cypress pulled out a 25-22 win as frosh middle blocker Samantha Madrid (Downey / Warren HS) hammered down a pair of kills to close the set and the match.

In addition to Vialpando's 18 kills, Russell finished with 14 kills and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Wells (Corona / Woodcrest Christian HS '15) added 13 kills, 13 digs four block solos.

Sophomore setter Sabrina Gonzaga (Moreno Valley / Citrus Hill HS '14) had a team-high 40 set assists and 13 digs and frosh libero Paula Romero (Riverside / Riverside Poly HS '14) had 13 digs.

For Cypress, in addition to Gholson's 21 kills, Madrid added 15 kills> Sophomore setter Samantha Martinez (Rancho Santa Margarita / Trabuco Hills HS) dished out a match-high 50 assists and added 15 digs. Sophomore libero Emily Witz (LOng Beach / Woodrow Wilson HS) had a match-high 21 digs.

Both teams will be idle this Friday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day. Riverside will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. when it revisits the Saddleback College Gauchos to continue a protested match near the end of the second set. Saddleback won the first set, 25-20. RCC was leading, 24-21, in the second set, but the score may be reduced. Cypress will be idle until Wednesday, Nov. 16, when it hosts the Orange Coast College Pirates to conclude teh regular season. 

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