Leonardo Mazuco going for a spike against Santa Barbara Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

There are wins that come easy and there are wins that take everything a team has to be able to rise above. The men’s volleyball team had one of those wins Wednesday night when Fullerton College took on Santa Barbara City College.

In an exciting home match with a set count of 2-2 and the points at 14-14, the Hornets fought hard and secured a close win against the Vaqueros.

Junior Paniagua serving the ball Thursday night against Santa Barbara

Hornet Junior Paniagua serving the ball Thursday night at home in a game against Santa Barbara. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

Initially, Santa Barbara got off to an early lead 12-8 but Fullerton quickly tied the score up at 14-14.

The first set remained close as the Hornets made use of some stellar blocking and serving from freshman Zach Currier, to reach set point at 24-23.

The Hornets closed out the first set on a powerful return from Leonardo Mazuco a sophomore and the team’s captain for a 25-23 win.

Sebastian Acosta (#16) and Aaron Delgado (#17) coming together for a block

Hornets Sebastian Acosta #16 and Aaron Delgado #17 came together for a block in Wednesday’s home game. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

Although the Hornets were keeping pace for the early parts of the set the Vaqueros quickly turned a 13-11 lead into a 25-15 victory.

Santa Barbara showed power on offense and defense forcing pressure, through heavy blocking, onto sophomore Hunter Wong-Hin who is one of the top scorers for Fullerton.

Charging forward the Vaqueros took a second set win and advantage in the match.

Regardless of the momentum shift, the score of 28-26 showed signs that Fullerton College was still fighting for the win.

Leonardo Mazuco catching his breathe during the 4th set.

Leonardo Mazuco the Hornet’s team captain caught his breath during the 4th set of a home game Wednesday night. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

“Considering that I’m rather under-sized for an outside hitter, I really have to think about how I can work around the block that’s in front of me,” said Wong-Hin about his adjustments and preparation for this game. “The best thing I can do is use the block to my advantage, see where I can swing, and try to utilize my teammates as best I can.”

Wong-Hin said that trusting in his team is what helped close out the fourth set, 25-17 Fullerton.

Leonardo Mazuco going for a spike against Santa Barbara

Hornet Leonardo Mazuco goes for a spike against Santa Barbara in a home game played on Wednesday night. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

With intensity on both sides, the final set came to a tie at 14-14, until Fullerton turned a missed serve from Santa Barbara into a match win.

The winning point came off of a long rally featuring deep digs and a well-placed block from Mazuco, who commented that it was the first time he attempted to reach that far on a block during a match.

Leonardo Mazuco (#9) and Andrew Delgado-Tietze (#15) coming together for a block to help close out the final set

Leonardo Mazuco #9 and Andrew Delgado-Tietze #15 came together for a block to help close out the final set during a home game on Wednesday night. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

Mazuco also had this to say, “Next game, I think is Golden West and we’re going to go for it. We go for every game now.”

The Hornets would travel to Golden West College to take on the Rustlers and took home the win 3-1 on Friday, March 11.

Next, Fullerton College ( 8 – 5 ) travels to Santiago Canyon ( 4 – 7 ) this Wednesday, March 16 at 6 p.m.

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