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.
#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.
#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.