Cats end 25-year drought
The Saddleback women's volleyball team captured the Orange Empire Conference title on Friday night with a 3-2 win against Cypress College inside the gymnasium. It was the first conference title since 1997.
Saddleback was trying to do something that happened since before any of the players on the team were even born. The Bobcats persevered, winning a tough battle in five sets over the Chargers.
Saddleback dropped the first set 22-25 before charging back for a 25-19 win in set two. The Bobcats again fell behind 2-1 when Cypress rallied for a 25-21 win.
Saddleback found its stride in set four, taking a 6-0 lead out of the gate. The Bobcats cruised to a 25-12 win to force a fifth and final set.
With the pressure of not winning a conference title since 1997 on their shoulders, Saddleback shook off the doubters and won a tight battle with a 15-12 victory in set five.
Saddleback is now 18-5 overall and 13-3 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Bobcats have a half-game lead on Irvine Valley College in the conference standings. Saddleback has a bye on Tuesday while Irvine Valley plays against Riverside City College. Nonetheless, Saddleback has already earned at least a share of the conference title with the win on Friday.
The 18 wins by Saddleback is the most since the program won 19 in 2017. The most wins in program history was in 1998 when the team won 24 and finished as the state runner-up.