Upsets galore as Western State Conference rules the roost in Volleyball Round 1 Regionals

The #15-seed College of the Canyons players go wild in a shocking upset at #2 Pasadena City College Tuesday night.
The #15-seed College of the Canyons players go wild in a shocking upset at #2 Pasadena City College Tuesday night.



The glut of upsets in the Southern California Regional Playoffs had a Game of Thrones feel as the Western State Conference targeted its opponents and a few rogue lower seeds from other conferences brought down two other high seeds of royalty in Round 1 matches played Tuesday night. 

When it was over, #2 seed Pasadena City College, #3 seed San Diego Mesa, and #4 Cypress all were eliminated in stunning sweeps while No. 7 Irvine Valley and No. 8 Mt. San Antonio were knocked off as well. The end result left an amazing five WSC teams alive and well for Round 2 with the conference hosting all four regional finals this Saturday. 

Bakersfield, the region's top seed, had to rally from a set down to beat #17 Fullerton in four sets and #6 Moorpark went the distance in a 5-set marathon over #11 MiraCosta. Cinderella Story Canyons, a team that started the year 2-8, knocked off PCC, #10 Ventura swept away 2019 state finalist Irvine Valley, and #5 Santa Barbara City swept #12 Golden West in one of the few regionals that didn't result in a some sort of surprise. 

In the North Regionals, only #9 San Joaquin Delta dealt a higher seed a defeat in sweeping #8 Sequoias while the top seven seeds rolled to Round 1 victories.

Saturday's 15 v. 10 SoCal seed matchup between Ventura and Canyons is the first time in regional history two seeds that low will face each other in a Round 2 match. 

BREAKING NEWS, Nov. 26--#3 seed San Diego Mesa has been given a forfeit victory due to an ineligible player used by Long Beach City College, thus Mesa advances and hosts #6 Moorpark. 

Round 2 Regional Final Matchups
Saturday, Nov. 27
winners advance to the CCCAA State Championships Dec. 3-5 at Fresno City College
#1 Feather River hosts #9 San Joaquin Delta
#2 West Valley hosts #7 San Mateo
#3 Fresno City hosts #6 Cabrillo
#4 Sierra hosts #5 American River
#1 Bakersfield hosts #9 Orange Coast
#5 Santa Barbara City hosts #13 Grossmont
^^#3 San Diego Mesa hosts #6 Moorpark
#10 Ventura hosts #15 Canyons

Here are capsule recaps of the 16 Regional Round 1 matches:


No. 1 Bakersfield d. No. 17 Fullerton, 18-25, 25-14, 25-15, 25-20: The WSC South Division champion Renegades (21-1) ran their winning streak to 18 straight but not before getting an intial scare from the Hornets. Fullerton got off to a fast start with five service aces in the first set, and kept the pressure on throughout for a 1-0 sets lead. To start the second set, Bakersfield settled into improving its serve receive passing and started to increase its sideout percentage, while also elevating the precision of executing its game plan. Bakersfield's defense led by 25 digs from libero Yuliana Rivera began to convert digs into point scoring opportunities.  Both Bakersfield setters had double-doubles, Francesca Hernandez with 24 assists and 12 digs, and Sam Smith on 17 assists and 15 digs.  Offensively, OH Meagan Williams led the Renegades with 21 kills (.356 attack percentage), Kami Marion had 10 kills, and returning to action after missing three weeks, AVCA First Team All-American MB Aly Dees (hit .450) landed nine kills without an error. For Fullerton (16-13), McKenna Mokry scored 12 kills and Hannah Tobin made 24 digs. 

#3 Fresno City d. #14 De Anza, 25-11, 25-16, 25-11: The Central Valley Conference champion Rams hit a remarkable .534 as a team, led by Third Team All-American RS Lexi Pagani with 14 kills (.500) and three aces, First Team All-American MB Diamond'Nique Young with 11 kills (a Ruthian .714), Sayda Taylor with 9 kills (.811) and Julie Pagani having a field day on the sets in producing 40 assists. Fresno is 29-3 and one more win away from being able to play at home, the site of the CCCAA State Championships. De Anza's season ended at 12-13.

#4 Sierra d. #13 Monterey Peninsula, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22: The Big 8 champion Wolverines (22-6) ran their winning streak to 19 in a row, but were tested by MPC (14-11), the Coast South's second place team. The Lobos gritty defense made 100 digs overall as long rallies pushed Sierra and allowed MPC to grab the second set. All-Norcal Region RS Hannah Platt delivered 18 kills while Hailee Mulic did her best for Sierra's D with 30 digs (and three aces). Setter Beka McGill proved to be a difference maker as well with eight kills, 24 assists, 16 digs and three blocks. Veronika Tupy added 11 kills. For MPC, Kylee Moore swung 18 kills with 26 digs while Kathryn Chen scored 13 kills and 16 digs. 
#5 American River d. #12 Solano, 22-25, 25-10, 25-21, 25-12: In three previous encounters this season, ARC (24-6) recorded sweeps each time v. the Falcons, but the fourth matchup became quickly a test for the Beavers as Bay Valley Conference champ Solano grabbed a 1-0 sets lead. American River, the second place team from the Big 8, settled down after making eight attack errors in the opening set and then used superior hitting from the likes of All-State OH Awelina Fakalata, who hammered 23 kills (hit .340) with 20 digs and four blocks, and Hannah Crother with an efficient .484 on her way to 18 kills. Ola Coker was a force at the net with six blocks (and four kills). In the fourth set, Rory Meneghetti got the ball rolling for the Beavers by serving 12 straight points as ARC pulled away for good. Solano (21-12) saw a 14-match win streak end despite perfect serving by Sammy Brown (12 kills) and Kailyn Kaiser (14 digs) who combined for 31 serve-ins without an error and combined for six aces. 
#6 Cabrillo d. #11 Shasta, 25-22, 25-13, 25-21: The Coast North champion Seahawks (17-7) struggled in the opening set with 11 attack errors, then looked like worldbeaters with a .636 attack in a dominating second set (16 kills in 22 attempts) on their way to sweeping Shasta (15-10). All-NorCal Region OH Jazmyn Tubbs was unstoppable at times with 16 kills (just 22 attacks, .591) and three aces. Hailey Naccarato served six of the team's 14 aces and scored 12 kills. Carly Ditz added 35 assists, five kills, four aces and seven digs. Shasta's Jennifer Troxclair ripped nine kills (hit .368) and was strong on passing and defense along with teammate Aliyah Rosado-Cruz (12 digs).

#7 San Mateo d. #10 Butte, 26-28, 25-14, 25-23, 25-6: CSM (21-6), the second place squad from the Coast North, realized right away that Butte was not going to make it easy for the Bulldogs. The Roadrunners had outstanding defense by Teagan Freeman, who made 22 digs, strong setting from Samee Taylor (29 assists) and sound hitting by Amina Moummad (10 kills). After Butte won the opening set in extra points, San Mateo found its groove in set 2 as All-NorCal Region setter Eyriana Eatmon started to distribute the ball to key hitters in Alister Borabu, who was a machine with 18 kills (.562) with three aces, and Naomie Cremoux, who also blasted 18 kills. Eatmon totaled 55 assists, five kills and nine digs. Breanna Evans scored eight kills. 
#9 San Joaquin Delta d. #8 Sequoias, 25-16, 25-17, 25-20:  The Mustangs (17-9) gave Sequoias (23-7) a taste of its own medicine by sweeping the Giants, a team that performed 19 sweeps over opponents in the regular season. Delta's Savannah LeBarre pounded 14 kills (.385) and Ellie Crowell had 10 kills, 15 assists. eight digs, and four blocks. Delta's All-NorCal Region libero Angela Biazon made 23 digs. For Sequoias, All-NorCal OH Mia Gilcrest was limited to eight kills (had 15 digs) while Hazel Martinez led the team by scoring 12 kills. 
Release by Robert Lewis, CCCWVCA SID