By Bryce Ronquillo
The volleyball team is now 8-10 overall and 3-4 in the South Coast Conference after a sweep against Los Angeles Trade Technical College (SCC 1-6, 1-10) in three sets (25-16, 25-14, 25-16) on Friday at LA Trade Tech.
ELAC went into this contest with only eight athletes suited up to play. There are 12 women on ELAC’s official roster. Injuries and personal issues is the reason for the shortage of players.
One of the injured players is sophomore outside hitter Alexis Salazar who suffered a sprained ankle last Tuesday in practice. She did not play in ELAC’s loss last Wednesday to Pasadena City College. She is currently listed as day-to-day.
Salazar said she plans to play tonight but with limited time on the court and by Friday to be back in her role as a starter.
The Huskies did not suffer against Trade Tech will the loss of Salazar. Sophomore Jessica Nunez, who normally starts as the team’s defensive specialist, played outside hitter and recorded nine kills on 12 attempts with only two hitting errors.
“ I’ll contribute as much as I possibly can to this team and help us move forward together,” said Nunez. “Of course I can’t contribute without the knowledge that Coach (Elliott) Walker has taught us throughout the season. I have to play smart and be smart on the floor.”
This situation is no new task for Nunez, who played outside hitter a majority of last season after Salazar was badly injured with a high ankle sprain.
“It felt natural and comfortable for me to play outside. It was as if I had never stopped hitting,” said Nunez.
Despite playing front row, her passing did not suffer. Nunez accumulated 10 digs on the night.
ELAC changed it’s defensive strategy in this game to adjust to the Trade Tech offense that consisted of mostly role shots and soft tips in the short zone.
As a result of this strong defensive performance ELAC only allowed 18 earned points. Most of Trade Tech’s points came off of ELAC errors.
ELAC’s offensive strategy was adjusted in this game as well.
“We implemented what we worked on in practice and really tried to keep the communication flowing throughout all three sets as well as moving the ball around to different attackers,” said sophomore outside hitter Breanna Trujillo.
This game concluded the first half of the SCC games for ELAC and they currently sit at fifth place in the conference.
“I feel like now that it is halfway done we can look back at what we’ve done as well as correct the mistakes we’ve made and keep improving. We’re a good team when we communicate and play our game,” said Trujillo.
The first three teams in the conference get automatic bids into the postseason. However, a fourth place finish could earn a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
ELAC hosts first place El Camino College tonight at 6 p.m. in the south gym and on Friday the team travels to Long Beach City College for a conference game at 6 p.m.