2019 OEC Volleyball Preview: Irvine Valley Takes Top Spot on SID Preseason Poll

��: Brent Shaver (Irvine Valley SID)
��: Brent Shaver (Irvine Valley SID)

The Irvine Valley College women's volleyball team was once again chosen by the conference sports information directors to repeat as the top team in the Orange Empire Conference. The Lasers are set to bring back seven returners from the 2018 OEC Championship team, including Co-MVP Lea Kruse. If everything goes as planned for the Lasers, they will bring home their third consecutive OEC title.

IVC has started the 2019 season with three straight wins, sweeping San Diego Miramar, College of the Canyons and Chaffey. Kruse has led the way with a team high 36 kills and 29 digs.

The Cypress Chargers came in at number two in the polls and are the last team to dethrone Irvine Valley to win an OEC Championship (2016). Cypress is coming off a 19-9, 12-4 season and have lost most of their 2018 team. Returning for the Chargers is starting libero Ashley Corona, who was fifth in the OEC in digs with 296. The Chargers are off to a solid start at 2-1 with wins over Cerritos and MiraCosta.

Following the Chargers in the poll are the Orange Coast Pirates and Fullerton Hornets. In 2018, Orange Coast finished third in the standings with an 11-4, 21-6 record and were just four points away from the Chargers in the poll. Fullerton was fourth in the poll after finishing 15-8, 10-6 and making Socal regional appearance in 2018.

The next three teams in line were Riverside, Saddleback and Golden West. Riverside kicked off the season with a sweep of Cerro Coso but then faced a couple powerhouses in Grossmont and Long Beach to fall to 2-1. Saddleback is off to their best start since 2015 when they went 3-0 to begin the year. The Gauchos have won their first four matches convincingly heading into another quad on Friday (9/6).  And Golden West is looking good with a 3-0 record to start the year after an uncharacteristic 2018 season.

Rounding out the 2019 poll in order is Santa Ana and Santiago Canyon. The Dons have a whole new team and picked up their first win over Victor Valley on Wednesday (9/4) night. Santiago Canyon has high hopes in 2019 and will look for their first victory on the road against Cerritos on Friday.

2019 OEC SID Preseason Poll

  1. Irvine Valley (7)  63
  2. Cypress                53
  3. Orange Coast       49
  4. Fullerton               41
  5. Riverside              35
  6. Saddleback          31
  7. Golden West        23
  8. Santa Ana            11
  9. Santiago Canyon  10

Preview by Cammie Lewis (Santa Ana SID/Women's Indoor Volleyball Representative)