Warriors Head to State Championships; Draw American River in Quarterfinals

Photo by Brad Jacobson
Photo by Brad Jacobson

CCCAA State Championships Tournament Central

For the 19th time in program history, the No. 5 El Camino College women's volleyball team will take part in the California Community College Athletics Association Women's Volleyball State Championships, beginning Friday afternoon.

THE FIELD – CCCAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

TOP-4 SOUTH: No. 1 Irvine Valley; No. 2 Bakersfield; No. 3 El Camino College; No. 4 Cypress College
TOP-4 NORTH: No. 1 Gavilan; No. 2 American River; No. 3 Fresno City; No. 4 West Valley

THE DETAILS

#3S El Camino College (23-3) vs. #2N American River (22-7)
Location: Solano College; Fairfield, Calif.
Date and Time: Friday, 1 p.m.
Admission: $12 General; $8 Students with valid ID

FOLLOW THE ACTION – TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

Both live stats and live video will be available for all of this weekend's matches at the CCCAA Women's Volleyball State Championships. For all matches, make sure to visit the CCCAA Tournament Central Page which is listed below along with links for the Warriors Friday match.

CCCAA Tournament Central: http://bit.ly/2SeM4lk
Live Video vs. American River: http://bit.ly/2BHUgFd
Live Stats vs. American River: http://bit.ly/2DRv94j

BACK TO THE DANCE

The Warriors are making their 19th appearance at the state tournament, the second most appearances at the CCCAA State Championships in history, trailing only Golden West College (24 apps).

In addition, the Warriors make their second trip to the CCCAA State Championships in the past three seasons after advancing to the semifinals in 2016. The Warriors have also made it to the quarterfinals of the CCCAA tournament in four of the last five seasons.

AT THE HELM

Head coach Liz Hazell takes her ECC squad to the CCCAA State Championships in just her second season at the helm. She was an assistant coach alongside legendary Warriors coach LeValley Pattison beginning in 2005 and was at her side for 12 seasons, including the team's and Pattison's last appearance at state in 2016. In that time, the Warriors won back-to-back state titles in 2007-08.

In addition to her success on the coaching staff, Hazell was co-captain of the ECC volleyball team in 2000-01 and helped lead the Warriors to an undefeated regular season in 2001 when the Warriors finished fourth at the state championships, earning All-State honors in the process.

Hazell has led the Warriors to two straight South Coast Conference titles and a 43-8 overall record so far as head coach.

IN AN ALL-STATE OF MIND

Sophomore Phina Leilua was named the South Coast Conference, South Divison Most Valuable Player and earned CCCAA All-State honors in 2018 and she's lived up to the hype in the postseason. She set a new career high with 30 kills while attacking at a .312 clip (30-6-77) and added 17 digs in the Warriors first-round, five-set victory over Fullerton on Nov. 20. She followed that by leading the team with 12 kills in their dominant sweep over MiraCosta to send the Warriors to the CCCAA State Championships.

In the Warriors' two playoff games, Leilua is averaging 5.25 kills and 3.00 digs per set while attacking at a .278 clip.

THE OPPONENT

The Warriors draw American River in the quarterfinals on Friday afternoon, the second of four matches slated for the day at Solano College. The Beavers finished the regular season with a 20-7 overall record and were ranked No. 10 in the state going into the postseason.

They drew the No. 5 seed in the CCCAA Women's Volleyball Northern California Regionals and swept past No. 12 Foothill before needing five sets to defeat No. 4 Sierra.

The Beavers are making their eighth appearance in the CCCAA State Championships and first since 2013.

The winner of the Warriors-Beavers match will draw the winner of the #1S Irvine Valley - #4N West Valley match on Saturday at 2 p.m.