The Fullerton College men’s volleyball team swept Palomar College in three sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-18) at home in a non conference game on Friday, March 2.
The Hornets (6-3) have found a rhythm on the court, at home and away as they added a fourth consecutive victory to their preseason, this win coming against the Comets (0-5-1).
“We are starting to get our rhythm with the consistent group [on the court],” said head coach Ed Rapp, whose team is made up mostly of incoming freshman.
The Hornets came out strong in the first set, with an opening block point from freshman outside hitter Garrett Geiger that allowed Fullerton to take a 6-2 lead minutes into the game.
Palomar struggled to find their rhythm in the first set, making passing and service errors, allowing the Hornets to capitalize on the scoreboard and win 25-18.
Shaking off their mistakes, Palomar showed no signs of backing down as the two teams battled back and forth into the second round. Fullerton sophomore Zach Huizar ended the first rally of the night with a crucial diving pass to change the momentum of the second set to a 5-3 lead.
“We have a lot of great hitters on this team,” Huizar said. “Its great to be able to compete against these guys, they make me better as a libero for games.”
Fullerton continued a six point streak in the second set with help from sophomore Javier Zavala’s two ace serves, forcing a Palomar timeout, 11-4.
The Hornet’s confidence came to a halt after defensive errors allowed the Comets to score points on the board.
“We need to stay focused even when there is a bad play… just mentally forget about it and move on to the next [play],” said Huizar.
In the end, Fullerton won the second set 25-17.
The third and final set was all about the rallies.
Fullerton led 3-0 right off the bat. Hitting and service errors from the Hornets allowed the Comets to gain five points soon after. A streak of kills and blocks from Palomar freshman Sam Sommers allowed a Comets comeback, bringing the score to a one-point difference at 14-13.
A jump serve ace from Huizar and a kill from sophomore Kyle Young brought the team back in the game, 20-15, and the crowd to their feet. Fullerton closed out the final set with a tip point from outside hitter Geiger to win 25-18.
Geiger is a key incoming freshman to the Hornets upcoming season.
“A solid left for the team,” according to Rapp.
“I try and stay focused before games, make sure to talk with my teammates that we are all in sync before we go out and have fun [on the court],” Geiger said. “Overall we played solid tonight.”
To be successful for their next game and the season, beginning March 14, the Hornets will have to minimize their ball errors, make serves and hit balls into the court, Geiger said.
The hornets host Long Beach City College (12-0) in their last pre-season game on Wednesday, March 7 at 6 p.m.