SBVC 16-Smack sweep qualifying pool to earn Division 1 status

Mackenzie Goss (88) and Emily Allen of the SBVC 15-Smack combine to stuff a Club Sunshine hitter during a Division 1 tournament match. (Photo by Steven Goss)

The Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 16-Smack earned Division 1 status by going 3-0 in pool play in the final Southern California Volleyball Association qualifying tournament in Anaheim.

The team beat Saddleback Valley 16-Trazi 25-10, 25-16, Orange County 16-Blue 25-13 25-18, and Westside Warriors 25-18, 25-20.

“The girls had incredible energy and teamwork throughout the day,” coach Jake Hong said. “Everyone played a critical part at one point during the day and stepped up when the time came. Melissa Scott worked hard in the middle, resulting in tallying many kills and blocks. Bailey Roach had a great defensive day, scrambling after balls, and she kept everyone’s energy up all day.”

The 16-Blue had a strong finish in the gold bracket, going 1-2 to earn themselves a starting position in Division 3. The team lost two tough battles to start the day, going three sets in each and coming up just a little short for the win.

The team lost to Club Troy 16-Tim 15-25, 25-21, 8-15 and Miz West 16-Rockstar 25-22, 22-25, 11-15. The team ended their day with a solid win over Reef 16-Brock 25-21, 25-22.

Hope Stewart of the SBVC 16-Blue team hits away from a block. (Photo by Jourdi DeWerd)

The SBVC 15 and 12 teams started regular season tournament play on Sunday.

The 15-Smack tied for fifth overall in its first tournament in Division 1 of the regular season. The team came out a little sluggish against Bakersfield’s OVC but prevailed 27-25, 20-25, and then regrouped for a strong battle against Sunshine 15-South Bay, winning 26-24, 25-18. The team finished second in pool after losing to Wave 15-Katie in three sets, 22-25, 25-15, 8-15.

Entering into playoffs, the team matched up against top seed Club West 15-Elite, and while playing some gritty ball, suffered a 22-25, 23-25 loss to tie for fifth.

“Wave was one of those ‘shoulda’ matches … we were passing and hitting well but made enough unforced passing and hitting errors that ultimately cost us the match.” said Coach K.C. Collins.

Against Club West, Collins pointed out the strong offense by Caroline Anderson, who not only contributed a few key kills from the right side, but also racked up some aces from the service line.

“We had a strong showing against Club West and unfortunately, when it’s point-for-point, it’s just those few mistakes that cost you, and we missed some serves and made a few other unforced passing errors,” Collins said. “But, we know what to work on and are happy with a strong fifth place finish for the day.”

The 15-Blue held on to their position in Division 2. The team lost to San Gabriel 15-Roshambo and San Diego 15s, but edged out Sunshine 15-Westside, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10, to place third in pool.

Needing to win the next playoff match to maintain division 2, the team slugged it out and beat Orange County 14-25, 25-10, 15-5 and moved on to a semifinal playoff, losing to Coast 15-Andrew 14-25.

Coach John Sener gave accolades to Camryn Kneip and Sarah Kang for the steady setting all day, which led a dominant offensive day for Delaney Jellison on the outside and Katie Gallivan in the middle.

“In the deciding game against Sunshine, Hannah Craig played the best game of the tournament having 6 kills and playing outstanding defense,” Sener said.

The 15-White team, competing in Division 3, also finished with a 1-2 record in pool play, losing to Long Beach 15-Runbird and Epic 15s, before beating South Bay 15s in a 3-set barnburner 22-25, 25-23, 16-14.

The team engaged in another three set nail-biter in the playoffs and lost to Saddleback Valley 15-Lisa, 25-20, 21-25, 12-15. This will move the team to Division 4 for its next competition.

The 12-Smack team had fun-filled, action-packed day, finishing second in pool play. The team opened up with a loss to LAVA 12-Robe, but not without a fight. In game 2, down by 14 points, Abby Corpuz went back to the service line and rifled off 12 straight points to close the gap, and the team lost by a mere 20-25 in the second set. The team then u-ended Long Beach 12-Runbird in two sets, followed by a battle with Cal Christians 12-Romans, pulling out the victory 22-25, 25-19, 15-6. The team remains in Division 4.