The Pirates' beach volleyball team split a pair of matches in Huntington Beach Friday, defeating Fullerton 4-1 before narrowly falling to Golden West, 3-2. Taylor Benitez-Fanslow and Shea Mckeown posted two victories at the No. 3 slot, as did Carina Cates and Danielle Garcia at No. 5 to lead Ventura (5-4) on the day.
In the first match of the day, the Pirates won their match up with the Fullerton Hornets, 4-1. Braxton Jessie and Janessa Simental posted the biggest victory of the match, prevailing 21-7, 21-13 at No. 2. Benitez-Fanslow and Mckeown won the No. 3 slot 21-11, 21-15 while Cates and Garcia triumphed at No. 5, 21-18, 21-11. Sofia Gomez and Jordan Neria posted a 3-set win at no. 4, 15-21, 21-15, 15-12 and Armonee Hunter and Kasie Spencer narrowly dropped their No. 1 match, 21-18, 21-16.
Against Golden West, VC opened up a 2-0 lead early on. Benitez-Fanslow and Mckeown won at No. 3, 21-11, 21-13, and Cates and Garcia recorded their 21-15, 21-19 win at No. 5. Jessie and Simental were won their first set 21-17, so the Pirates were one set away from victory. That was before a furious comeback by the Rustlers, as they posted victories at No. 1 and No. 4 before claiming the three-set win at No. 2.
Ventura opens Western State Conference play on Friday March 16 in Bakersfield. They will take on Bakersfield College and Santa Monica in matches at Cal State Bakersfield beginning at 9:00 am.