After a 21-month lay-off due to COVID restrictions and a canceled 2020 season, the Ventura College volleyball team opened the 2021 campaign with a pair of wins in the LA Mission Kickoff Classic Friday in Sylmar. VC (2-0) defeated Monterey Peninsula 25-14, 25-20, 25-22 in the first match of the day before sweeping Imperial Valley 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 in the tournament quarterfinals. Darynne Bickers and Averi Carter each had 14 kills on the day while Faith Carillo handed out 37 assists in the two contests. Amaris Garcia led the defense with 28 digs.
Ventura 3, Monterey Peninsula 0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-22)
In the "play-in" game of the tournament, the Pirates easily defeated the Lobos in straight sets to earn the bracket's No. 2 seed. Bickers was on fire at the net with nine kills in 15 chances, recording just one error for a .533 kill percentage. She also had a pair of block assists defensively. Carter had seven kills and 11 digs in the sweep and Alexis Baloyo recorded five kills , seven digs and five service aces. Carillo was key with the sets, registering 28 assists in the match and Garcia had 10 digs.
Ventura 3, Imperial Valley 0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-16)
Ventura continued their strong opening day with a sweep of IVC in the tournament's quarterfinal round. Carter led the offense with seven kills while Katey Mulville recorded six winners in the match. Bickers and Baloyo each had five kills in the balanced attack. Garcia led the Pirate defense with 18 digs and Bickers recorded three solo blocks. Nevada Knowles had 14 assists and six service aces in the Ventura triumph.
The Pirates will play Folsom Lake College in the tournament semifinal at 1:30pm on Saturday Aug. 28, with their final match of the bracket set for 6:30 pm Saturday evening in Sylmar.