Crowds packed the bleachers to watch a women’s volleyball match against Fullerton College and Irvine Valley College on Nov. 17. This match was meaningful for the fans and the players because the night was dedicated to honoring the team’s sophomore players.

Despite loads of home team support, the Hornets failed to come up with a win and were handed a disappointing loss, 3-0.

Before the match could begin, Fullerton paid tribute to Hornet sophomore players that would be leaving come season’s end. The Hornets sophomore players walked down the floor, with a loved one, carrying flowers as their career plans were announced over a speaker.

“We have a huge sophomore class — 11 girls this year — and we really embraced this idea of having a family,” said sophomore outside hitter Hannah Wilmes. “Obviously, we wanted to go out on a win but I’m still proud of us for playing together, playing like a team, finishing the season strong, and waiting for our call in the postseason this year.”

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The Hornets (15-12 overall, 9-7 OEC) went head-to-head with the Lasers (16-5 overall, 12-4 OEC), coming right out the gate with a 4-0 run. The Hornets saw that lead dwindle as the set progressed with the Lasers snatching the set, 25-20.

The score seemed like it would be close for the second set until Irvine Valley jumped ahead to a comfortable 6-16, about halfway through, and never looked back. The Lasers took that set as well, 25-15.

Both sides of the bleachers were supporting and cheering their teams on and the atmosphere was very high-spirited. Momentum can be very important in the game of volleyball as teams can go on runs at any given moment. In this match, both teams went on favorable runs throughout the match but Irvine Valley seemed to maintain their success consistently.

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The third set was a dogfight. Each team went back and forth to try and gain the upper hand but the Hornets couldn’t keep up in the end losing the final set, 25-21.

“I know this season has been all over the place,” said head coach Megan Tomicic. “At any time some other team could win, there could be an upset, but unfortunately tonight wasn’t our night.”

Although it may not have been the result the Hornets had hoped for, Fullerton tried to keep the score close in the final set, not making it easy for Irvine Valley.

Freshman middle blocker Jade McIntyre and sophomore outside hitter Alexis Zander attempt to block the opponents ball from reaching over their net.

Fullerton College freshman middle blocker Jade McIntyre and sophomore outside hitter Alexis Zander attempt to block the opponents ball from reaching over their net during Wednesday’s home game 3-0 loss. Photo credit: Ethan Ahoia

Hornet freshman middle blockers Alexa Hauser, Jade McIntyre, and Callie Tuckfield tried the best they could in defending the center area of the net from the Lasers.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best night for us but I think the one thing we’ve worked hard towards is improving throughout the whole season,” said Tomicic.

This is the fourth season for Megan Tomicic as the head coach of the women’s volleyball team. She said she couldn’t be more pleased with the players’ improvements both as people and volleyball players.

Hornets sophomore outside hitter Faith Webb celebrating with her teammates after snatching a point on the Lasers.

Hornets sophomore outside hitter Faith Webb celebrating with her teammates after snatching a point on the Lasers. Wednesday’s final home game was filled with many emotions as they honored their sophomores before the match with sophomore night. Photo credit: Ethan Ahoia

“We couldn’t be more proud of this group of athletes that we have. The character that we have on this team, we’re pretty blessed,” said Tomicic.

With the seasons’ final home match in the books, Fullerton’s women’s volleyball team marched on to Cuesta College on Nov. 20 in the regional round with a 3-1 win. The Hornets advanced to round one of the regional playoffs at Bakersfield College on Nov. 23 where the Hornets’ season came to an end with a 3-1 loss to the Renegades.

Author profile

Ethan Ahoia (he/him) is a journalism major from La Mirada, CA. In his free time, he enjoys writing poetry, watching movies, and playing with his labradoodle.