Entering his second season as Pasadena City College women's volleyball head coach, Mike Terrill expects his 2017 Lancers to be a serious contender for the South Coast Conference North Division crown while hoping to get his squad into the postseason.
Last year, the Lancers finished 16-9 overall but were left out of the 18-team playoff field. Winning their 5-team conference would give them an automatic bid this season with defending SCC North champ Mt. San Antonio seemingly their toughest obstacle.
The Lancers return four All-South Coast Conference selections, including First Team setter Emily Leung and Second Team choices in outside hitters Paige Clingaman and Vanessa Lopez along with middle blocker Lania Potter. Leung led the SCC North in set assists average at 7.34. Clingaman topped the team in kills with 248 (2.88 average). Potter was an exceptional middle with 50 blocks and a team-best kill percentage at .285. Lopez was among the Lancers top servers with 33 aces. Defensive specialist Kelsey Sarreal is the only other letterman. T
The Lancers' freshmen class is led by 6-foot outside hitter Rachel Johnson, who like Clingaman is from the state of Wisconsin, and 5-11 middle blocker Danielle Johnson, who played her prep volleyball at Bonita High. Other top rookies include libero Grace Crawford (Pasadena High), outside hitter Camille Ferguson (Bishop Amat), and middle blocker Izzy Hernandez (Arroyo HS).
"I'm proud of the commitment our team has shown in preparation for this season," Terrill said. "We're fortunate to have an excellent freshmen class to add to a rgoup of returners that have significant match experience from last year. Emily is a team captain at setter and she will help provide leadership to this group while running our offense."
PCC opened the season in tough company with two matches at the 3rd Pierce College Kickoff Classic on Friday. The Lancers began with a 4-set loss against last year's state No. 10-ranked Santa Barbara City College, 28-26, 25-18, 20-25, 25-9. PCC let a 4-point lead slip away at match point (24-20) in the opening game. Danielle Johnson had 11 kills and three blocks while Lopez scored 10 kills with seven digs. Leung dished out 35 assists with nine digs, two aces and two kills. Crawford added 16 digs while Rachel Johnson recorded eight kills. PCC had trouble stopping SBCC's veteran hitter Carolyn Andrulis who scored 15 kills and added six block assists.
Pasadena then faced last year's No. 21-rated Canyons and the Cougars swept PCC, 25-16, 25-19, 25-10. Although the Lancers are 0-2, PCC helped itself by facing two perennially strong teams in the SoCal region.
PCC continues in the Pierce tournament with two more matches on Saturday, Aug. 26. PCC will face MiraCosta (state No. 16 last year) in an 11 a.m. match. If the Lancers win, they would play either Golden West or Rio Hondo at 4 p.m.