Moorpark men’s volleyball fall to Long Beach City in home conference game


Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Moses calls out the serve during the Raiders’ game against Santiago College on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in the Moorpark College athletic pavilion. Photo credit: Michelle De Leon

By Danny Stipanovich

The Moorpark Raiders (6-4, 2-3 in WSC) men’s volleyball team suffered their third conference loss and first home loss against the Long Beach City Vikings (9-3, 4-1) on Friday night in four sets (25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 14-25). The Raiders now sit in fifth place in the Western State Conference.

Sophomore and freshman outside hitters, Jordan Moses and Ryan Horan led the team with 10 kills each. While sophomore middle blocker, Dylan Haskell, had a team-high of eight block assists. Steven Weese, freshman setter, dished out 37 assists, and freshman Tyler Maki added nine digs as libero.

In the first set, middle blockers Christian Escobal and Haskell kept the Raiders alive, collecting four kills each. The teams went back and forth until a Ryan Horan kill put the Raiders up 23-22, and they held off the Vikings to win 25-22.

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Jordan Moses (right), Christian Escobal (middle), and Brent Rassmussen (left), jump for the block during the Moorpark Raiders home match up versus the Long Beach City Vikings on Friday, March 15, 2019. Photo credit: David Haiby

Long Beach City’s head coach, Jonathan Charette, was impressed with the Raiders strong start to the game.

“Moorpark played lights-out the first set,” Charette said. “We couldn’t get the ball past the net.”

Charette kept telling his team “energy breathes more energy,” a motto that stuck with the Vikings into the second set.

The Vikings jumped to a 5-2 lead, but after a quiet first set with zero kills, Jordan Moses woke up the audience with a powerful spike. Number 15 for the Vikings, Uriel Bautista responded with his own spike to silence the crowd. Long Beach carried the momentum to go on a 4-0 run, putting themselves up 9-3.

The Raiders put together a 7-3 run to tie it up at 16 after a Dylan Haskell kill. With Long Beach up 19-18, Kyle Anema of the Vikings spiked the ball at Jordan Moses who attempted to dig the ball up, but instead jammed his finger, resulting in a bloody thumbnail. Moses was forced out of the game briefly, and the Vikings went on a 6-3 run to close out the set, 21-25.

Both teams were unable to spark a run in the third set until a Brent Rasmussen service error put the Raiders down 7-8. The Vikings then strung together a 9-3 run to put the score at 10-17. Moorpark could not come back from the seven-point deficit and lost the third set 21-25.

The fourth set was close early on. However, Long Beach pulled away with a 7-1 run to put them up 12-6. The Vikings then went on to win 25-14.

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Moorpark Raiders head coach, Aaron Hedland speaks with his team during a timeout in their home conference game versus the Long Beach City Vikings on March 15, 2019. Photo credit: David Haiby

Raiders assistant coach Alex Barr was still pleased with his team’s efforts on the court. He recognized that Moorpark found themselves in deep trouble in both the second and third sets.

“We’re showing these opponents what we’re capable of,” Barr said. “We just haven’t been able to string together a solid three matches.”

The loss marks the Raiders second loss in a row, following an away sweep at El Camino Wednesday night (22-25, 18-25, 20-25). Although it was a sweep, the Raiders stuck with the El Camino Warriors through every set.

Jordan Moses hopes that the past week has been a wake-up call for the team.

“We need to make sure our practices are more serious. We need to understand how we practice, is how we play,” Moses said.

Moorpark looks to bounce back Wednesday at 6 p.m. when Pierce Brahmas (3-6, 1-4) pay a visit to Raider Pavilion.