Irvine Valley men's volleyball team starts the 2021 season with a sweep

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

IRVINE - The wait was rough, but the Irvine Valley men's volleyball team made Wednesday night's 2021 season opener worth it.

The Lasers were back on the court after more than a year of not competing.

IVC also had to miss its first two scheduled matches last week against Fullerton because of health and safety protocols.

The squad was ready for Wednesday night and the Lasers didn't disappoint, sweeping Santiago Canyon, 25-12, 25-20, 25-19 in an Orange Empire Conference match.

IVC hit .313 as a team for the match.

Freshman outside hitter JT Demure led the way with 11 kills, six digs and two aces. He also hit .476 for the match.

Freshman middle blocker Trevor Weinert had an impressive line, hitting .636 with eight kills, freshman outside hitter Colin Chillingworth finished with eight kills and three digs, freshman opposite Garret Schnitker ended with seven kills and five digs and freshman setter Andrew Perez contributed 32 assists and eight digs.

Irvine Valley jumped out to a 8-3 lead in the first set on a kill by Chillingworth and it was up, 15-7, after another big Chillingworth kill.

The Lasers went ahead, 19-10, on a kill by Schnitker. 

Schnitker and Chillingworth added kills and Demure ended the set with a serve winner.

Irvine Valley had to rally in the second set. The Lasers trailed, 12-5, to start. But IVC tied the set at 17, before taking control.

A kill by Schnitker gave the Lasers a 19-18 advantage and a block by freshman outside hitter Jaden Churchill made it 22-20.

IVC captured the set on a kill by Chillingworth.

The third set was back and forth until Irvine Valley went on a 8-2 run to take a 22-16 lead. Demure's tip winner finished off the run.

And seven points later IVC picked up its first win of the season.

The two teams play again on Friday at Santiago Canyon. The match has been moved from 6 p.m. to a 4 p.m. start.

(Brent Shaver, Irvine Valley College)