El Camino extends Moorpark’s losing streak to four following a close game

Warriors%27+outside+hitter+swings+past+the+Moorpark+triple+block+during+the+Raiders%27+home+game+on+Wednesday%2C+March+4.+Raiders+fell+to+the+Warriors+in+four+sets.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

Warriors' outside hitter swings past the Moorpark triple block during the Raiders' home game on Wednesday, March 4. Raiders fell to the Warriors in four sets. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By David Reyes

Wednesday night, the Moorpark College Raiders lost their fourth straight game of the season against the El Camino Warriors in four sets. The Raiders are now 6-4 overall and 1-3 in the Western State Conference, while the Warriors stand at 6-3 overall and 1-2 in WSC.

The Raiders started off hot and won the first set 25-20. Winning the set gave the impression that the Raiders were going to end their losing streak but El Camino put up a fight to win the next three sets, each by the score of 23-25.

Middle blocker Shawn Krantz and setter Lucas Ogg jump up for the block against the Warrior outside hitter during the Raiders' home game on Wednesday, March 4.

Middle blocker Shawn Krantz and setter Lucas Ogg jump up for the block against the Warrior outside hitter during the Raiders' home game on Wednesday, March 4. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

“We just cracked under pressure and this is the first time that’s happened to us. We just got to go back to the gym and work harder and get better,” sophomore outside hitter Ryan Horan said.

Horan finished the game with seven kills and said he is one hundred percent confident that the team is going to get things done from here on when asked about their chances of making the playoffs.

Sophomore Ryan Horan aims a tip over the Warrior block on Wednesday, March 4 at Moorpark College.

Sophomore Ryan Horan aims a tip over the Warrior block on Wednesday, March 4 at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The Raider’s closest chance at grabbing hold of a second set was in set four. For a moment the Raiders were looking at a win, holding the score at 22-17 but the Warriors persisted and only allowed the Raiders to score one point from there on to win the final set of the game.

Impressive performances by sophomore opposite hitter Gabriel Vargas-Featherstone and freshman outside hitter Conor Oliver paved the way for the Warriors. Vargas-Featherstone delivered 16 kills, the most in the game, while Oliver scored 10 kills and eight digs.

While the Warriors cut the game short, both teams matched up evenly.When comparing the Raiders Wednesday night performance to their last home game against Santa Barbara, Wednesday was a big step up. There were fewer mistakes and the Raiders looked more concentrated even though the Warriors beat them by a minimum of two points in the last three sets.

Sophomore outside hitter Gurpreet Ghotra finished the game with 13 kills and three digs. Ghotra now has 115 kills in the season which ranks him first in the conference and sixth overall in the state. After the game, Ghotra shared his thoughts on the loss.

Sophomore Gurpreet Ghotra swings at an outside set during the Raiders' home game against El Camino College on Wednesday, March 4.

Sophomore Gurpreet Ghotra swings at an outside set during the Raiders' home game against El Camino College on Wednesday, March 4. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

“We played really good, with a lot of heart and we actually gave our all. We could’ve done better but till the next game,” Ghotra stated.

Other Moorpark players with impressive performances were sophomore setter Lucas Ogg, freshman middle blocker Shawn Krantz, and freshman outside hitter Jake Cecena. Ogg finished with an outstanding number of 33 assists, placing him fourth overall and in the conference with assists. Krantz finished with seven kills and six blocks. Lastly, Cecena contributed eight kills and three blocks.

Sophomore setter Lucas Ogg jumps up to joust with the Warriors' middle blocker during Moorpark's home game on Wednesday, March 4.

Sophomore setter Lucas Ogg jumps up to joust with the Warriors' middle blocker during Moorpark's home game on Wednesday, March 4. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Head coach Aaron Hedland was asked if the four-game losing streak was worrisome.

“What worries me is where we are mentally and in terms of how we’re playing. We are playing really well up until the finish line,” Hedland expressed.

The Moorpark Raiders next game will be at home against the 0-8 Antelope Valley Marauders on Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m. Following Friday’s game, the team will head to Santa Monica College on March 13 and then return home to face L.A. Pierce College on March 18, both games are to start at 6 p.m.