TORRANCE, Calif. – For the second time in the last three years, No. 2 El Camino College will advance to the California Community College Athletics Association State Championships after defeating No. 7 Grossmont, 3-1 (25-19, 28-30, 25-15, 25-17) in the CCCAA Quarterfinals Friday night at the ECC South Gym.
The Warriors will meet a familiar foe in the CCCAA Semifinals as they take on No. 3 Long Beach after the Vikings defeated Santiago Canyon on Friday night to advance. The last time ECC faced the Vikings in the CCCAA Semifinals, the Warriors scored a 3-0 sweep to move on to the finals in 2017, where they eventually fell to Orange Coast.
This will be the Warriors third trip to the CCCAA State Championships since 2014. In each appearance, they've advanced to the championship game but have yet to come up with the program's first men's volleyball state title.
On Friday, the Warriors (17-2) got 18 kills from Cinjun Coe and 16 kills from Gabriel Vargas-Featherstone to lead the offense. Joseph Sico dished out 34 assists and helped set the team to a .289 attacking percentage in the victory. Connor Payne added nine kills on a .421 attacking percentage while Cameron Steen added six blocks (two solo).
The Griffins (8-10) were led by Kaman Curtis with 19 kills while Jesus Rodriguez added 11 and Andrew Lanzrath dished out 36 assists.
The Warriors outslugged Grossmont with a .421 attacking percentage in the first set compared to the Griffins .143 mark. There were five ties in the game but they were all in the early going before ECC built up a six-point lead and they never looked back.
But the Griffins responded in a wild second set that saw 15 ties and eight lead changes. It was the Griffins best showing of the match as they hammered down 18 kills in the game and posted a .361 attacking percentage, which allowed them to edge the Warriors 30-28 and tie things up.
Neither team performed very well in the third set but Grossmont's offense stalled more than ECC's, allowing the Warriors to take the game 25-15 and in turn take a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth, the Warriors put Grossmont away with 14 kills in the frame while the Griffins managed just seven with six errors.
The Warriors will face the Vikings on Thursday night at Fullerton College. The time is yet to be determined but it will be either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m.