Prior to the start of the game Fullerton honored six sophomores for their contribution and dedication to the team as they walked onto the court for their last home game of the season.
The excitement from the ceremony carried into the first set with Fullerton scoring the first two points. A quick tip over the net by opposite hitter Lauren Schaefer caught Cypress off guard, bringing the score to 11-9.
Fullerton’s offense continued to prevail as both teams battled on the court. However, the Chargers offense slowly faltered as miscommunication led to Cypress hitting the ball into the net for the Hornets to take the lead, 19-17. A timeout was called by Cypress immediately after in efforts to put a halt to the Hornets momentum.
Coming out of the timeout Cypress bounced back into the game taking the lead from Fullerton 20-21. The Hornets were quick to recover when outside hitter Lauren Schaefer delivered a kill to tie the game at 21.
A significantly long rally included players from both teams running towards the bleachers to keep the ball in play. Fullerton scored a point with a kill from defensive hitter Andrea Lopez causing the crowd to come to their feet.
The Hornets added two back to back points, including an ace delivered by sophomore Lauren Schaefer bringing the score to 24-21.The winning point was earned by freshman Amanda Henderson with a key kill to end the set 25-23.
Fullerton came out strong in the second set with an opening ace by Schaefer for the first point. Fullerton and Cypress took turns showcasing their talent on the court as the two teams continued to put points on the scoreboard.
Fullerton was first to break away with three consecutive points scored, taking a 17-13 lead. These points included an ace by Henderson, and two kills from sophomore Andrea Lopez with an assist from sophomore Kailyn Case.
Cypress fought back against the Hornets and was able to gained momentum as they narrowed the gap in the score. Fullerton was forced to call a timeout as Cypress closed the gap with a 24-23 lead. The Hornets offense was unable to maintain the lead and stand up to the Chargers defense allowing Cypress to take the second set 24-26.
Continuing their momentum, Cypress came out in the third set putting the first points on the board. Fullerton struggled offensively unable to complete plays against Cypress allowing an early Charger lead of 6-10 and another Fullerton timeout. The timeout appeared to refocus the team as the Hornets scored straight away and began to put points on the board.
Fullerton’s opposite hitter Baylee Coble served three ace’s in a row to give Fullerton the lead 17-15. The teams continued to rally back and forth as the players sweat was being wiped away from their flushed faces.
A long rally had the ball sailing across the net five times. This fight towards the end of the set had the Hornets diving, blocking, setting and spiking the ball as it was within their reach, regardless of position. Fullerton was successful and brought the score to 23-24.
The energy from the rally continued with Fullerton scoring three consecutive points to win the set, 26-24.
Fullerton opened the fourth set with an ace serve by Lopez that lead to the Hornets gaining an early lead of 5-3, with a successful block by Longstreet and Schaefer. The teams continued to keep the score close but Fullerton struggled to take a lead by more than two points.
A timeout was called by Fullerton as they trailed, 11-13, behind Cypress. The Hornets were able to rally back to a 18-19 score with a block from Case and Henderson, who had seven successful blocks in the fourth set alone.
Another point scoring block from Henderson and Coble tied the score at 20. However, Fullerton was unable to push pass Cypress losing by four points, 21-25, to tie the game at two sets a piece.
In the final set the Hornets took control of the game early, knowing this was the set to seal their last home game victory. The first point was scored by Fullerton with a block by Case and Henderson.
The Hornets energy was at a high scoring four unanswered points to take the early lead at 5-0. Cypress called a timeout in which they gained their composure to come back and score their first point of the game after an intense rally.
Cypress continued to regain their momentum and were able to score five points in a row against Fullerton. The Hornets responded by calling a timeout with the score at 13-9.
Fullerton’s defense was a force on the net stopping Cypress from gaining further points to take the lead for the remainder of the set. The Hornets won the tie breaking, 15-11, giving the Hornets a sweet last home victory.
Case and Henderson had four set-kill combos in this set while Lopez served two aces, while sophomore Carlie Ortega had a team-high of 18 digs.
Amanda Henderson set a season-high with 27 kills which leads the Hornets to a sweet come back 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 21-25, 15-11) victory against the Chargers.
Sophomore Carlie Ortega said, “I loved playing with these girls and that this night was bittersweet.”
Fullerton Head Coach Megan Glennie stated that the success the team had against Cypress was because they, “played in the present and didn’t focus on the score.”
Glennie has mentioned previously that she focuses on selflessness while on the court and expressed that in this game, “every single person played selflessly.”
“This is a huge huge win for us… it’s something you never forget,” Glennie added.
This win puts the Hornet in a good place for playoff contention. The official confirmation of a post season will be next week.
In hopes of going to the playoffs Case said, “I look forward to even harder competition and making our team better .”
Ortega’s goal for the playoffs is, “going all the way, all the way to state.“
With only two games left in the season Henderson stated they team is going to work mostly on their mental work, “physically we work hard in practice 110%, I think this is more of who wants it more and how bad do we want it.”
The Hornets will play on the road at Riverside College today at 6 pm.