TORRANCE, Calif. – No. 14 El Camino College trailed No. 13 Long Beach City by a game in the South Coast Conference-South Division standings after falling to the Vikings at LBCC on Oct. 11. On Wednesday night, the Warriors returned the favor and erased the deficit to pull even with the Vikings.
Aiko Waters recorded her 12th double-double of the season as the Warriors defeated the Vikings 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21) in front of a standing-room only crowd at the ECC South Gym.
Waters notched a match-high19 kills along with 18 digs to lead the Warriors in both categories and attacked at a .357 (19-4-42) clip. Jaylin Motley pitched in with 13 kills and Sarah Dyer (21) and Keily Morimoto (18) combined for 39 of the team's 46 assists to set the Warriors to a .231 (50-17-143) percentage.
For the Vikings, Josannah Vazquez led the way with 19 kills of her own and 14 digs while Lusia Lutali dished out 36 assists.
With the victory, the Warriors snapped Long Beach's 16-match winning streak and pulled into a tie for first place atop the SCC-South Standings with one match left to play for each team. A win for both teams in the last match would clinch a tie for the conference title. The Warriors face L.A. Harbor on Nov. 14 at the ECC South Gym in their last match of the regular season while the Vikings host L.A. Trade Tech on Thursday night at the Hall of Champions Gym.
In the opening set, the Warriors utilized a 7-0 run early in the game to open up a 9-3 lead. The Vikings trimmed that six-point cushion down to one at 18-17, but ECC ran off eight of the last 10 points to take the first and a 1-0 lead. Waters smashed down five of her kills in the opening frame and had nine digs while the Warriors tallied six blocks. Glorious Owens had two of her match-high six blocked shots in the first set.
The second set saw a more back-and-forth affair as the teams were tied seven times in the early going. At 10-10, the set saw its first and only lead change as Waters hammered down one of her five kills in the second to give the Warriors the lead. After an attack error evened things up again, Waters smashed down another to kick off a mini 4-0 scoring burst to put ECC up 15-11. The Vikings narrowed the gap to 19-17 but would get no closer as the Warriors took the second and a commanding lead.
The Vikings would not go quietly however as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set. They built the lead up to seven at 11-4 before an 8-2 scoring run by ECC trimmed the deficit down to one. But Vazquez came through with one of her four kills in the set to gain some separation and the Vikings would finish the set on a 12-3 run to trim the Warriors lead in the match in half.
The fourth and final set saw six ties and two lead changes but it was Waters again who was masterful, leading the team with five kills in the set and six digs while Motley added three kills and two blocks. Despite the great effort, no team ever led by more than four points and they were deadlocked at 21 all before two attacking errors by the Vikings sprung the Warriors free. Motley gave the Warriors match point with a kill and then Jerephina Leilua finished things off with the deciding swing on the far side just in between two Vikings players for the victory.
The Warriors have now won seven straight matches and will wrap up the season Tuesday looking for their eighth straight against L.A. Harbor at 6 p.m.