MVB: SBCC steps up in 5th set to beat Pierce

SBCC recorded a season-high 18 team blocks in a 3-2 men’s volleyball victory over L.A. Pierce at the Sports Pavilion. The scores were 24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 25-27, 15-10.

Kyle Smiley had two straight aces in the fifth set and then sophomore captain To’o To’o took over in the middle with back-to-back blocks and a kill that made it 11-7. Taylor McCluskey ended the 2-hour, 12-minute match with a kill down the middle.

“We weren’t playing efficient in the first few sets and it all came together in the last set,” said To’o, a 6-3 middle blocker from San Lorenzo. “I was angry because we should have been out of here a lot faster. We were the ones making the mistakes. We got the W and that’s all that matters.”

The Vaqueros improved to 10-5 overall and 5-3 in the WSC. SBCC is 3-1 in five-set matches this year. Pierce fell to 5-9 and 2-6.

Taylor McCluskey and Shaft Wesley had nine kills apiece, Jaiden Pina and Robert Gulvin both produced eight and Sean Reynaert and To’o had seven each. To’o and Gulvin led in blocks with seven apiece with McCluskey and Reynaert each adding five.

The Vaqueros also had a season-high 71 digs, led by Smiley (18) and Casey Alper (17).

“You could call this a gritty win considering how bad we were playing,” said coach Matt Jones. “We steadied out enough in that fifth set. We got those two aces from Kyle and then To’o stepped up for us. Our defense was pretty good and kept us in the match.”

The Vaqueros have a bye on Friday, then travel to L.A. Trade Tech on Wednesday.