Hornets Volleyball won their second Orange Empire Conference match 3-0 against the Golden West Rustlers on Wednesday, putting the Hornets in a three-way tie for third place in the conference alongside the Rustlers and the Chargers. The Hornets bounced back from their last game, a 3-0 loss against Saddleback College.
During their last four home games, The Hornets have won three matches but were swept by Santa Barbara, three sets to nothing. The Rustlers were looking for a victory after their 3-0 loss against Irvine Valley at home but came up short.
Both teams were well-prepared in what was a tight back-and-forth set. Fullerton College fell behind, giving Golden West the take-off lead. However, Fullerton was able to win the set 26-24.
“The whole team was very consistent throughout the whole game and were very disciplined the entire match,” said head coach Niloofar Mojab.
During the second set, sophomore opposite hitter, Mareta Poe‘s offensive attacks led the Hornets to take the lead 11-8. The Rustlers wouldn’t go down without a fight as they tied the second set 14-14. Sophomore outside hitter Kaiya Owens‘ kills helped the Hornets win the set 25-18.
“As an athlete, especially a volleyball player, you need to have a short memory to be able to move on and bounce back because it’s a really fast-paced game,” said Mojab on mindset and recovery from disappointing plays. “My players only have about a maximum of 10-15 seconds before they have to be able to move on, let things go, and be able to be ready for the next point.”
In a very competitive third and final set, the Rustlers took the lead 7-3, but the Hornets stayed in the set, tying it 13-13. The Hornets were able to take the lead 17-13, but the Rustlers would not back down, tying the set at 17-17. With help from freshman outside hitter Camille Castillo tapping in a kill, the Hornets were able to take the set and the match 25-22.
“I couldn’t be prouder of them. Obviously, winning feels good, but the way we won felt even better because they were able to execute what we’ve been putting into work during practices,” said Mojab of her team.
Fullerton College (6-8, 2-2) faces Santa Ana College (9-1, 2-1) on Wednesday, October 5 at 6 p.m. as part of the OEC.