Karl Seiler, Head Coach kseiler@palomar.edu



Women's Volleyball



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The 2015 Comets
(Photo by Hugh Cox)


Palomar's Kelli Iverson has accepted a beach volleyball scholarship to NCAA Division I Grand Canyon University. She played two seasons of indoor volleyball and one season of beach volleyball for the Comets. The 5-foot-11 Iverson, who played outside hitter for Palomar's indoor team, will have three seasons of eligibility in beach volleyall with the Antelopes. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Iverson earns D-I scholarship to Grand Canyon

PHOENIX, AZ (1-06-2016) -- Palomar's Kelli Iverson has landed a beach volleyball scholarship to NCAA Division I Grand Canyon University and will have three seasons of eligibility for the Antelopes.

The mid-year transfer becomes coach Karl Seiler's first beach volleyball scholarship player. The Comets fielded their first-ever intercollegiate beach volleyball team in spring 2015 and Iverson teamed with Gabby Hutzler to become Palomar's first winning duo in history as the pair defeated their Fullerton College opponents 21-16, 21-14 in the Comets' first match ever, a 4-1 victory over the Hornets on March 6.

The 5-foot-11 Iverson, who played outside hitter for Palomar's indoor team, will have three seasons of eligibility in beach volleyall with the Antelopes. She came to Palomar from Christian Life Academy in Escondido, was a first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection for Palomar's indoor team this past fall. The Comets placed second in the conference and advanced to the state community college Southern California Regionals.

Grand Canyon loses six sophomores from its 2015 beach volleyball team that went 9-6, defeating LSU, TCU, New Mexico (three times), Loyola Marymount, Concordia of Irvine and San Jose State while losing to Hawaii twice, Pepperdine, Nebraska, USC and Long Beach State.

2015 Season ...

Ex-Comet Lerno 10th in nation in NAIA in kills

BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (12-15-2015) -- Palomar's two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-team volleyball selection was named a first-team All-Mid South Conference selection at the conference tournament banquet at the Corvette Museum.

Lerno, a junior at Cumberland who had played her two seasons at Palomar under Karl Seiler, finished 10th in the nation in NAIA in kills with 4.1 per set (505 kills in 122 sets) during the recently concluded 2015 season.

Lerno, who also starred in softball for the Comets after arriving from Southwest High School in El Centro where she was Imperial Valley Girls Athlete of the Year as a three-sport athlete as a senior, also was 12th in the conference in digs with 330.

During Cumberland's 2015 season, Lerno posted double-figure kills in 27 of her team's 31 matches. She posted a season-high 31 kills at Life University, 28 at Shawnee State and 25 versus the University of the Cumberlands at home.

Lerno is one of three sisters who played intercollegiate sports at Palomar. Her mother is Imperial Valley College softball coach Jill Lerno.

Madi Stark, pictured delivering a kill in Palomar's 3-0 sweep of San Bernardino Valley at The Dome on Sept. 4, has been joined by teammates Kelli Iverson (below left) and Taylor Schade (below right) on the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team selected by conference coaches. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Stark, Iverson, Schade make All-PCAC 1st team

SAN DIEGO (12-04-2015) -- Second-place finisher Palomar landed three players on the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team in women's volleyball.

Named to the first team, in selections by conference coaches: Madi Stark, sophomore outside hitter/opposite from Elsinore High School; sophomore outside hitter/middle blocker from Escondido's Christian Life Academy; and freshman middle blocker/opposite Taylor Schade from Elsinore High.

Three Comets were picked on the second team: Kayla Boatright, freshman setter from Temescal Canyon High School; Hayley Poueu-Silveyra, freshman outside hitter from Great Oak High School; and Bethany Prochnow, sophomore middle blocker from Elsinore High School.

Palomar had three honorable mention selections: Vanessa Flores, sophomore defensive specialist from Whittier High School; Wendy Garcia, sophomore libero from El Camino High School; and Kelsey Payne, sophomore defensive specialist from San Dieguito Academy.

Brooke Callahan-Daywalt of champion Grossmont College was named Player of the Year in the conference. Grossmont's Jamie Ivers, whose team won a sixth consecutive PCAC title, was selected as Coach of the Year.

Wendy Garcia (top photo) digs the ball to setter Kayla Boatright (No. 13 in picture directly above), who assisted on Kelli Iverson's kill to Palomar a 14-6 lead in the second set in Tuesday night's match with visiting Bakersfield. The Comets won the set but lost 3-1 to the Renegades in Round 1 of the Southern California Regional Playoffs. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets' season ends in 4 sets vs. Bakersfield

SAN MARCOS (11-24-2015) -- Palomar women's volleyball season came to a screeching halt on Tuesday night at The Dome as visiting Bakersfield, the No. 11 seed upset the sixth-seed Comets 26-24, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20 in a first-round match.

After the Renegades edged by Palomar in the first set, Vanessa Flores served the Comets to a 4-0 lead in set No. 2 and coach Karl Seiler's squad led 8-1, 9-2 and 13-3, the latter on a Hayley Poeu-Sylveria kill, before Bakersfield came inching back.

The Renegades closed to within one point, at 16-15, by going on a 10-2 run and finally took one-point leads of 19-18, 20-19 and 23-22 before the Comets went back on top late in the set. Palomar eventually took a 24-23 lead when a Bakersfield spike attempt went flying out of bounds, and Bethanyh Prochnow put the set away with a kill for the 25th point.

With a chance to go on top in the match in a back-and-forth third set, the Comets took a 24-23 late lead but couldn't maintain it as the Renegades came back to win by two points.

The Renegades then led all the way in the fourth and, as it turned out, final set to end the Comets' season.

Madi Stark and Kelli Iverson, the Comets' two sophomore stars, finished the match with 15 kills apiece. Poeu-Sylveria had eight kills.

Libero Wendy Garcia had 23 digs, while setter Kayla Boatright ended the night with 37 assists, 10 digs and two service aces.

Palomar, which tied for second in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, finished with a 15-8 record. Bakersfield advances to 16-11 and will play third-seeded El Camino, a 25-19, 24-26, 22-25, 25-20, 15-8 winner over Fullerton, in Round 2 on Saturday night.

PC is No. 6 seed, will host Bakersfield Tuesday

SACRAMENTO (11-20-2015) -- Palomar (15-7) has been seeded No. 6 in the Southern California Community College Volleyall Regional Playoffs and will host No. 11 seed Bakersfield (15-11) in Round 1 on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in The Dome.

The Comets are bracketed with third-seeded El Camino (24-2) and 14th-seeded Fullerton (14-8). A victory by coach Karl Seiler's team would send the Comets against the winner of that match in Round 2 on Saturday. That matched would be played at El Camino (if the Warriors beat Fullerton) or at The Dome (if Fullerton wins).

The top two seeds in the 18-team bracket are No.1 Santa Barbara City College (23-3) and No. 2 Los Angeles Pierce (26-1).

Also from the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, Grossmont (24-4) is the No. 5 seed, MiraCosta (17-4) the No. 7 seed and San Diego Mesa (16-8) the No. 9 seed. Grossmont hosts No. 12 seed Golden West (14-8) and MiraCosta hosts No. 10 seed Cypress (19-9) on Tuesday. Mesa plays at defending state champion and eighth-seeded Irvine Valley (15-5) on Tuesday.

The CCCAA State Final Four will be played at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita on Dec. 5-6.

State Coaches Assn. ranks Comets No. 12

SACRAMENTO (11-20-2015) -- The California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association ranks Palomar 12th in the state for the regular season.

Also from the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, Grossmont is ranked seventh, MiraCosta 13th and San Diego Mesa 16th.

Palomar's Madi Stark digs the ball (top photo) and delivers a kill (directly above) in Wednesday night's match with Mesa at The Dome. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets fall to SD Mesa, tie for 2nd in PCAC 

SAN MARCOS (11-18-2015) -- State No. 14-ranked Palomar was defeated by No. 19-ranked San Diego Mesa 26-24, 25-19, 27-29, 25-23 on Wednesday night at The Dome to close out the women's volleyball regular season.

The Comets (15-7, 12-4) finished in a tie for second place with MiraCosta in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference but will receive the conference's second automatic Southern California Regional qualifying berth by virtue of winning both head-to-head meetings with the Spartans.

Grossmont won its sixth straight PCAC title outright and receives the conference's top qualifying berth.

For the Comets, Madi Stark (17 kills), Kelli Iverson (15 kills) and Hayley Poeu-Sylveria (7 kills) were the offensive leaders.

Wendy Garcia had 17 digs and Kayla Boatright contributed 28 assists.

Izzy Miller, the conference's kills leader, led the fourth-place Olympians (16-8, 11-5) with 28 kills and five blocks. Lindsey Gordon had 56 assists.

Kelli Iverson (No. 10) delivers a kill in Palomar's sweep of San Diego City College on Friday evening at The Dome. The Comets clinched at least a tie for second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and assured itself of a Southern California community college playoff berth. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC clinches at least tie for 2nd, is playoff bound

SAN MARCOS (11-13-2015) -- Palomar clinched at least a tie for second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball standings on Friday, and assured itself of a Southern California playoff berth along the way.

The Comets (15-6 overall) swept San Diego City College at The Dome 25-18, 25-21, 26-24 as Madi Stark contributed 11 kills. Palomar is 12-3, while MiraCosta is 12-4 and San Diego Mesa has fallen into fourth place at 10-5 and can't finish any higher.

The Comets host Mesa to close out the regular season on Wednesday at 5 p.m. If coach Karl Seiler's squad wins, it will finish alone in second. If Mesa were to win, Palomar and MiraCosta would tie for second, but would land the conference's second automatic playoff berth because the Comets won both of their matches with the Spartans.

The Spartans defeated the Olympians 3-1 in their final match of the regular season on Friday. They have the bye on Wednesday.

Bethany Prochnow had six kills and two blocks for the Comets against the Knights. Taylor Schade also had two blocks. Setter Kayla Boatright contributed 27 assists. Wendy Garcia had 14 digs and Kelsy Payne had nine.

Palomar wins, regains 2nd place by itself

RANCHO SAN DIEGO (11-10-2010) -- Behind 10 kills by Hailey Poueu-Silveyra, nine by Taylor Schade, seven by Kelli Iverson and seven by Denver Spencer (left), Palomar regained sole possession of second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference with a 25-10, 25-17, 25-11 sweep of Cuyamaca on Tuesday in its next-to-last regular-season match.

Coach Karl Seiler's team (11-3 in the PCAC) moved one match ahead of San Diego Mesa (10-4) with two regular-season matches remaining. Mesa was tied for second with the Comets coming into Tuesday's matches but lost in three sets to Grossmont, which clinched the outright PCAC championship last week.

Brittany Mitchell (right) had 17 assists for Palomar in the sweep over Cuyamaca and Kayla Boatright had 13 assists.Wendy Garcia contributed 10 digs. Kelsey Payne had eight.

Hayley Poueu-Silveyra delivers a kill in Palomar's 3-1 victory over Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Mt. San Jacinto on Friday evening at The Dome. The Comets moved back into a tie for second place with idle San Diego Mesa. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets back in tie for 2nd in PCAC with Mesa

SAN MARCOS (11-06-2015) -- Kelli Iverson and Madi Stark each put down 12 kills, Tyler Schade added 10 and Palomar moved back into a tie with idle San Diego Mesa in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball at The Dome on Friday night at The Dome, defeating Mt. San Jacinto in four sets.

The scores were 25-15, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20 as the Comets upped their record to 13-6 on the season and 10-3 in conference. Grossmont clinched at least a tie for the championship Friday by sweeping Imperial Valley.

Kayla Boatright had 31 assists for Palomar in Friday night's match. Wendy Garcia had 11 digs.

Comets travel to the desert and sweep Arabs 

IMPERIAL (11-04-2015) -- The Palomar women's volleyball team didn't make a long trip to the desert any longer than it had to on Wednesday evening, sweeping Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opponent Imperial Valley in short order 25-14, 25-17, 25-10.

The Comets (12-6, 9-3 in the PCAC), ranked No. 15 in the state, remained a half-match behind second-place San Diego Mesa, which defeated Southwestern in five sets, in the conference standings. The Olympians have played one more PCAC match and are 10-3 in the conference.

Madi Stark led Palomar with nine kills and also had three service aces. Taylor Schade had five kills.

Wendy Garcia (above left) contributed 14 digs. Vanessa Flores had three aces. And setter Kayla Boatright (above right) had 21 assists.

The Comets return to The Dome on Friday to host Mt. San Jacinto in a conference match that is slated for a 5 p.m. start.

Champion Griffins beat Comets in 4 sets

EL CAJON (10-30-2015) -- Defending champion and first-place Grossmont College defeated second-place Palomar in four sets on Friday night at Griffin Gym.

The G-house knocked the Comets into third in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball, at least for the time being.

Set scores were 25-14, 20-25, 25-20, 25-17.

Taylor Schade (left) led the Comets with 11 kills and 2.5 blocks. Madi Stark had seven kills. Savannah Sherbourne and Hayle Poueu-Sylveyra each contributed two blocks.

The Griffins advanced to 18-4 on the season, 11-0 in the PCAC. The Comets fell to 11-6, 8-3 and now also trail San Diego Mesa (9-3 in conference), although the two teams are tied in the loss column.

The Olympians defeated rival San Diego City College 3-1 on Friday evening.

Stark wins PCAC Athlete of the Week award

SAN DIEGO (10-27-2015) -- The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference has honored Palomar volleyball player Madi Stark as its Women's Athlete of the Week for all sports.

Stark, the Comets' top player as a 5-foot-9 sophomore outside hitter and opposite from Elsinore High School, has overcome season-long injuries to lead Palomar to undisputed second place in the PCAC standings with an 8-2 conference record.

Last week, Stark recorded 10 kills as Palomar defeated rival MiraCosta for the second time this season 25-20, 18-25, 25-17, 26-24, knocking the Spartans out of a tie for second, and came back with 10 kills and two blocks in a 25-15, 25-20, 25-19 victory over Southwestern.

Stark is averaging 3.48 kills per set for the state-ranked Comets, second in the conference to Isabel "Izzy" Miller from San Diego Mesa.

Palomar sweeps in Susan B. Komen match

SAN MARCOS (10-23-2015) -- Palomar remained alone in second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in women's volleyball on Friday night at The Dome, sweeping Southwestern 25-15, 25-20, 25-19 in the Comets' annual Susan B. Komen match to fight cancer.

The Comets are 11-5 on the season. Grossmont, which swept MiraCosta on Friday is 10-0 in the conference, followed by the Comets at 8-2 in second, San Diego Mesa (7-3) in third and MiraCosta (6-4) in fourth place.

Madi Stark (above left) led Palomar with 10 kills. Hayley Poueu-Silveyra (above right) had nine kills and Taylor Schade had eight. Bethany Prochnow contributed 3.5 blocks and Stark had two blocks. Kayla Boatright had 28 assists.

Coach Karl Seiler's second-place Comets will visit Grossmont's conference leaders next Friday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m.

TOP PHOTO: Chico State transfer Taylor Schade picks up a point in Palomar's 3-1 victory over rival MiraCosta on Wednesday night with one of her six blocks. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Kelli Iverson delivers one of her match-high 11 kills. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Wendy Garcia, who finished off the Spartans with a service ace in the fourth set

Garcia's late service ace dispatches MiraCosta

SAN MARCOS (10-21-2015) -- Palomar swept its season series with rival MiraCosta and took over undisputed second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball standings on Wednesday evening, turning back the visiting Spartans in four sets.

The scores were 25-20, 18-25, 25-17, 26-24, with Libero Wendy Garcia finishing off the Spartans in set 4 by contributing the final two points, including an ace serve for the 26th point.

Coach Karl Seiler's Comets (10-5, 7-2 in the PCAC) have handed MiraCosta (11-3, 6-3) two of its three 2015 losses and are 4-0 vs. the Spartans since MC brought back volleyball last season, 23 years after dropping the sport following its final match in 1991.

Kelli Iverson, Madi Stark, Taylor Schade and Hayley Poeu-Sylveria hammered the Spartans statistically. Iversion contributed 11 kills and three blocks. Stark had 10 kills. Schade delivered five kills and six blocks. Poeu-Sylveria had three blocks.

Kayla Boatright set 31 assists.

The state No. 18-ranked Comets stunned the No. 14-ranked Spartans by jumping out to an 8-1 lead to begin the first set. Palomar led 12-2 at one juncture and Stark's kill for the 25th point ended the set.

After MiraCosta scored 11 of the final 15 points to take the second set, the rest of the night belonged to Palomar before an appreciative crowd at The Dome.

It was close for awhile in set 3 before the Comets rattled off four straight points, punctuated by back-to-back perfectly-placed points by Schade and Stark, to turn a one-point lead into a five-point lead at 19-14. A MiraCosta violation gave Palomar the 25th point and capped a 9-3 run to end the set.

After the Spartans led throughout the early going in the fourth set, the Comets pulled even at 13-13, took a 15-14 lead on an Iverson kill and led most of the way after that before MiraCosta edged in front 24-23. At that juncture, Garcia tied the set at 24-24 by finding a hole in the Spartans' defense, then ended the match with the service ace.

Palomar will return to action on Friday at 5 p.m. at The Dome when the Comets host their annual Susan G. Komen "Coaches vs. Cancer" match. All proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and will be used for breast cancer awareness, treatment and research.

17th-ranked Olympians upset No. 14 Comets

SAN DIEGO (10-16-2015) -- San Diego Mesa College, ranked 17th in the state, upset 14th-ranked Palomar 25-12, 26-24, 29-27 in women's volleyball on Friday evening at the Olympians' gym.

The Comets slipped to 9-5 on the season and fell into a tie for second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference with idle MiraCosta.

First-place and state No. 7-ranked Grossmont is 8-0 in the PCAC. The Comets and Spartans are both 6-2.

Madi Stark led Palomar with 13 kills. Hayley Poueu-Silveyra added seven kills.

Comets dispose of City College in 3 sets

SAN DIEGO (10-14-2015) -- The Palomar women's volleyball team turned back San Diego City College 25-17, 25-17, 25-22 on Tuesday evening at Harry West Gymnasium, running its current win streak to four matches and remaining alone in second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

The state 14th-ranked Comets still trail No. 7-ranked and first-place Grossmont, which swept Cuyamaca on Wednesday, by one match in the conference standings.

Taylor Schade (left) led Palomar (9-4, 6-1) with 13 kills and Bethany Prochnow (right) also was in double firures with 10. Prochnow also had four blocks and Schade had 3.5 blocks.

Kayla Boatright contributed 28 assists.

Denver Spencer puts down a kill for Palomar in Friday night's sweep of visiting Cuyamaca. -- Photo by Hugh Cox)

2nd-place Palomar rolls up Cuyamaca in three

SAN MARCOS (10-09-2015) -- Palomar remained alone in second place in Pacific Coast Athletic Coference women's volleyball on Friday evening at The Dome, diposing of visiting Cuyamaca in three sets 25-9, 25-17, 25-8.

Coach Karl Seiler's squad (8-4, 5-1) trail only first-place and 2014 state third-place finisher Grossmont (13-4, 6-0) in the PCAC. The Griffins and Comets finished 1-2 in the conference a year ago.

Kelli Iverson (9 kills), Savannah Sherbourne (6 kills) and Denver Spencer (5 kills) led the Comets offensively. Wendy Garcia had seven digs. Vanessa Flores totaled six aces.

Palomar turns back Mt. San Jac, is 4-1 in PCC

SAN JACINTO (10-07-2015) -- Madi Stark (left) put down a match-high 15 kills and got some significant help from her friends as Palomar defeated Mt. San Jacinto in four sets 25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 25-14 on the road in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball on Wednesday evening.

Hayley Silveyra contributed nine kills. Taylor Schade and Bethany Prochnow each had eight kills.

Savannah Sherbourne (right) had two blocks for the Comets. Setter Kayla Boatright totaled 34 assists.

Coach Karl Seiler's Comets are 7-4 on the season, 4-1 in the conference.

Palomar returns to The Dome on Friday to host Cuyamaca in another conference match at 5 p.m.

PC rebounds from 'L' to G-House, sweeps IVC

SAN MARCOS (10-02-2015) -- Palomar bounced back from a loss to 2014 state third-place finisher Grossmont on Tuesday as the Comets swept Imperial Valley 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 on Friday evening at The Dome.

Madi Stark (19 kills) and Bethany Prochnow (10 kills) led the offense as Palomar advanced to 6-4 on the season, 3-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. Hayley Poueu-Silveyra added nine kills.

Setter Kayla Boatright (left) contributed 37 kills for the Comets, while Wendy Garcia had eight digs.

Coach Karl Seiler's squad will try to go to 4-1 in conference when the Comets travel to Mt. San Jacinto for a 5 p.m. match on Wednesday.

ABOVE: Madi Stark finesses the ball over the net to score Palomar's 16th point in the first set Wednesday against Grossmont. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Kelli Iverson, who had two blocks for the Comets

State No. 8 Griffins overwhelm No. 12 PC

SAN MARCOS (9-30-2015) -- For what was expected beforehand to be a good match-up between last season's first- and second-place finishers in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, this one turned out to be anything but.

State No. 8-ranked Grossmont, the third-place finisher in last year's state community college women's volleyball tournament, swept No. 12-ranked Palomar 25-17, 25-14, 25-9 on Wednesday evening at The Dome.

For the Comets, Madi Stark had nine kills and Kelli Iverson contributed two blocks. Brooke Callahan had nine kills for the Griffins.

Grossmont remained unbeaten at 3-0 in the PCAC to open the conference season. Palomar saw its PCAC record dip to 2-1. The Griffins won the conference championship last season while the Comets finished alone in second.

Orange Coast cancels Friday volleyball match

SAN MARCOS (9-24-2015) -- Orange Coast College has canceled Friday evening's scheduled volleyball match against Palomar at The Dome. According to a CCCAA state rule interpretation, the match goes into the books as a non-contest.

The Pirates, who swept Citrus on Wednesday at home but said they had to cancel to due having only four healthy players, are 8-1 in the season but unranked in the state. The Comets are 5-3 and ranked 12th in the state.

Palomar's Bethany Prochnow spikes the ball in the visiting Comets' 25-22, 25-12, 21-25, 25-15 victory over Southwestern on Wednesday evening. -- Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College

Palomar wins, goes 2-0 to begin PCAC play

CHULA VISTA (9-23-2015) -- Palomar defeated an improved Southwestern team 25-22, 25-12, 21-25, 25-15 on Wednesday night to go 2-0 to begin its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference season.

Madi Stark and Bethany Prochnow both were in double figures with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Hayle Poueu-Sylveyra put down nine kills.

Vanessa Flores contributed three ace serves. Taylor Schade had five blocks. Setter Kayla Boatright added 33 assists.

The Comets are 5-3 overall.

Stark (20 kills, 4 blocks), Comet top MiraCosta

OCEANSIDE (9-18-2015) -- Madi Stark (left) continued her red-hot early season run on Friday as she led Palomar to a 3-2 comeback victory on the road over rival MiraCosta in the Comets' Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball opener.

Stark put down 20 kills and added 2 blocks as the Comets came back from losing the first two sets 26-24, 25-13 to defeat the Spartans in the final three sets 26-24, 25-23, 15-11.

MiraCosta was flying high after sweeping defending state community college champion Irvine Valley 3-0.

Taylor Schade and Hayley Poueu-Silveyra each had 8 kills for the Comets. Wendy Garcia contributed 15 digs., and Kayla Boatright (right) had 4 aces.

Coach Karl Seiler's Comets are 1-0 in conference and 4-3 overall.

Lerno named Tennessee Player of the Week

LEBANON, Tennessee (9-09-2015) – Cumberland University’s Maci Lerno, who starred for two years at Palomar in volleyball and softball, was named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Volleyball Player of the Week after posting a pair of double-doubles and helping the Bulldogs to three victories. This is the first of weekly awards for the 2015-16 academic year sponsored by the TSWA.

Lerno has been the most prolific attack thus far this season for the Bulldogs, members of the NAIA, averaging 4.15 kills and 2.97 digs per set, ranking 12th nationally in kills per set and 11th in the Mid-South in digs per set.

She has racked up four double-doubles this season against Bethel, Brenau, Martin Methodist and the University of the Cumberlands.

The El Centro native has accumulated 20 or more kills three times this season and has tallied 141 kills so far in 2015. Lerno will look to continue her strong play this weekend as Cumberland travels to Evangel University to compete in four matches at the Evangel Tournament.

PICTURED: Maci Lerno, who had 25 kills in Cumberland University's victory over the University of the Cumberland in NAIA action on Saturday -- Courtesy photo

Madi Stark puts down one of her 11 kills in Palomar's 3-set sweep against San Bernardino Valley on Friday night at The Dome.

Stark and Comets handle Wolverines in three

SAN MARCOS (9-04-2015) -- Palomar evened its women's volleyball record at 3-3 on Friday evening at The Dome in its home opener, getting 11 kills from Madi Stark and sweeping visiting San Bernardino Valley 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-18).

It was likely the last time  the final time the Comets will ever play the Wolverines in a non-conference match, at least for the forseeable future. It appears a lock that San Bernardino will be joining the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in 2016-17, along with College of the Desert, as the Foothill Conference of which they are currently members is in the process of folding.

Taylor Schade contributed eight kills for the Comets. Bethanh Prochnow added five kills. Wendy Garcia, Stark and Kelsey Payne each had five digs. Setter Kayla Boatright had 28 assists.

Defending state champions turn back Comets

IRVINE (9-2-2015) -- Defending CCCAA state champion Irvine Valley held off Palomar 3-1 in a non-conference women's volleyball match on Wednesday evening, winning the fourth set 25-11 after the Comets had played the Lasers tough for the first three sets.

Irvine Valley won two close sets 25-20, 25-22 to begin the match. Palomar answered back with a 25-18 win in set No. 3. But the Comets were unable to stay with the Lasers in the fourth set.

Madi Stark (left) led Palomar in kills for the fifth straight match with 10. Taylor Schade contributed eight kills. Bethany Provhnow had seven kills.

It was the season opener for Irvine Valley.

The Comets (2-3) will open their home season on Friday at The Dome against San Bernardino Valley at 5 p.m.

Stark gets 72 kills as Comets go 2-2 at Pierce

WOODLAND HILLS (8-28-2015) (8-29-2015) -- Madi Stark put down 72 kills in Palomar's first four matches of the women's volleyball season on Friday and Satirday, leading the Comets went 2-2 in the Los Angeles Pierce Kickoff Classic.

Palomar defeated Cypress 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-19, 16-14) in Friday's season opener as Stark led the way with 20 kills. Taylor Schade had 14 kills. Hayley Poueu-Silveyra added 10 kills.

In their second match Friday, the Comets turned back Mt. San Jacinto 3-1 (24-26, 26-15, 25-9, 25-14. Stark totaled 21 kills. Poueu-Silveyra and Schade contributed seven kills each. Kelsey Payne had seven digs.

Santa Barbara City College handed the Comets their first loss of the season 3-1 (24-26, 25-23, 25-8, 25-23) on Saturday. Stark again led in kills with 15 and also had eight digs. Schade contributed seven kills. Wendy Garcia contributed eight digs.

Cypress then avenged its Friday loss, defeating the Comets 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 24-26, 25-17. Stark had 16 kills, Schade 11 and Poueu-Silveyra 6 against the Chargers as the two-day event concluded at the Pierce College South Gym.

Comets open season at Pierce tournament

SAN MARCOS (8-2-2015) -- Palomar, coming off a 19-5 season that saw the Comets finish alone in second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, will open its 2015 women's volleyball schedule on Friday and Saturday in the Kickoff Classic at Los Angeles Pierce's South Gym.

Coach Karl Seiler's squad will visit Irvine Valley on Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. in a non-conference match before hosting San Bernardino Valley on Friday, Sept. 4, also at 5 at The Dome in the Comets' home opener.

Off-Season ...

Luedtke Big Ten bound, to Rutgers University

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (5-13-2015) -- Palomar setter Aspen Luedtke, a 2014 All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-team selection, has accepted a full volleyball scholarship to Rutgers of the Big Ten Conference.

Luedtke, a freshman out of Mission Vista High School, will become the second Palomar volleyball player to play for the Scarlet Knights. Robin Allyn, a Vista High School product who played two seasons for Comets coach Karl Seiler, was a middle blocker for Rutgers during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Allyn later returned to Palomar as an assistant coach.

Luedtke averaged 7.80 assists per set in making the 2014 All-PCAC team after helping lead the Comets to a 13-3 conference record and second-place finish behind champion Grossmont, which reached the CCCAA state title match. Palomar finished 19-5 overall.

She becomes the second player from Palomar's 2014 volleyball team to sign with a four-year college. Sophomore outside hitter / middle blocker Maci Lerno, who also plays softball for the Comets, previously received a volleyball scholarship to Cumberland University of the NAIA.

Luetke also played for the Comets' first-ever sand volleyball team during the recently-concluded season.

Rutgers, officially "Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey", is the eighth oldest college in the United States, founded in 1766. The Scarlet Knights fielded their first athletic team (rowing) 151 years ago in 1864. Rutgers defeated Princeton at College Field in New Brunswick on Nov. 6, 1869 in the first intercollegiate football game ever played. The Scarlet Knights, formerly a member of the Big East Conference, joined the Big 10 in 2012.

Academically, Rutgers was ranked 52nd in the world in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Luedtke will become the first Palomar female athlete to play for a Big 10 Conference school since Danielle LeBeau, who was the third-leading hitter on Ohio State's 2012 softball team.

PICTURED ABOVE: Palomar coach Karl Seiler and Aspen Luedtke, who has accepted a volleyball scholarship to Rutgers

With Palomar volleyball coach Karl Seiler looking on, Maci Lerno signs a letter of intent with Cumberland University. -- Courtesy photo

PC's Lerno signs with NAIA's Cumberland

SAN MARCOS (3-06-2015) -- Palomar volleyball and softball standout Maci Lerno has signed to play volleyball at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. She'll transfer to Cumberland, a member of the Mid-South Conference in the NAIA, after the current Palomar softball season.

Lerno, an outside hitter and middle blocker, was a two-time first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection in volleyball.

Lerno came to Palomar from Southwest High School in El Centro, where she was the Imperial County Girls Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2012-2013 after dominating in volleyball, basketball and softball. She has two older sisters who were softball standouts for the Comets and is the daughter of Imperial Valley College softball coach Jill Lerno.

Cumberland is best known for winning the NAIA Baseball World Series three times, including its 2014 team that upset Lewis-Clark State 3-0 in the championship game. The Bulldogs also had a runner-up finish in the NAIA national women's basketball tournament in 2007.

Cumberland University, founded in 1842, has a strong academic reputation and has developed its strong small-college athletic reputation after originally playing football regularly against major Southern programs in the early 1900s. In 1903, the Bulldogs pinned back-to-back defeats on Alabama 44-0 and LSU 41-0 and won the Southern Intercollegiate Assotiaion championship after tying Clemson 11-11 on Thanksgiving Day.

However, for all its athletic successes, Cumberland is best known for a 222-0 loss to Georgia Tech on Oct. 7, 1916 at Grant Field in Atlanta, the most one-sided loss in college football history.

2014 season ...

ABOVE: Palomar's Maci Lerno, pictured celebrating in the first match of the Comets' two-match season sweep of rival MiraCosta, has been selected to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team in women's volleyball for the second straight year. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: The Comets' other first-team selections, Aspen Luedtke (left) and Madi Stark (right)

Three Comets selected to All-PCAC first team

SAN DIEGO (12-02-2014) -- Three players from Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball second-place finisher Palomar have been voted to the all-conference first team.

Sophomore Maci Lerno was selected to the first team for the second straight season. Teammates Madi Stark and Aspen Luedtke, both freshmen, join her on the first team.

Lerno is a 5-foot-9 middle blocker and outside hitter from Southwest High School in El Centro. Stark is a 5-foot-9 freshman opposite and outside hitter from Elsinore High School. And Luedtke is a 5-foot-9 setter out of Mission Vista High School.

 The Comets' second-team selections were Colleen Jones (5-7 sophomore outside hitter from Rancho Buena Vista High School), Rachel McFarland (5-7 sophomore outside hitter / opposite from Heritage Christian High in San Diego) and Rylee Zimmerman (5-8 sophomore outside hitter from Mission Vista High).

Hannah Seits, a 5-11 sophomore middle blocker out of Ramona High School, was an honorable mention pick.

Lexi Reddick of champion Grossmont College and Taylor Kishner from Mt. San Jacinto shared Player of the Year honors.

Comets year ends at 19-5 with playoff loss

SAN MARCOS (11-25-2014) -- Palomar's season came to an end on Tuesday night at The Dome despite big nights by outside hitters Madi Stark and Maci Lerno.

The eighth-seeded Comets were eliminated from the Southern California Regionals by Western State Conference Southern Division champion College of the Canyons 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18.

Stark finished her freshman season with 15 kills and 15 digs against the bigger Cougars. Playing in her last match of her sophomore season as a Comet, Lerno had 12 kills, 15 digs and two service aces.

Freshman center Aspen Luedtke, playing with a wrap on her injured right arm, contributed 11 digs and 43 assists.

The highlight of the night for Palomar was the third set when the Comets led most of the way, fell behind, led 21-20, then outscored the Cougars the rest of the way 5-1.

Lerno recorded a kill for the 22nd point, Kelli Iverson had a kill for the 24th point, and Stark deposited a kill on a set by Rachel McFarland for the 25th point.

Palomar, which placed second out of nine teams in the PCAC, finished the season 19-5. Canyons is 21-3.

PICTURED ABOVE: Madi Stark's kill for the 25th point gives the Comets a win in the third set in Southern Cal Regional play against College of the Canyons on Tuesday night at The Dome. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC ends regular season with win, awaits seed

SAN DIEGO (11-20-2014) -- Led by 17 kills and two aces from Madi Stark (left), Palomar swept San Diego City College 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 Thursday night at Harry West Gym  in a match that was moved up a day from its original Friday date.

Coach Karl Seiler's team, which finished the regular season 19-4, 13-3 for undisputed second place in the nine-team Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, and awaits results of the Southern California seeding meeting on Sunday to find out where it may fit into the postseason playoff structure.

Seiler has been around long enough to realize undisputed second place behind the state's third-ranked team (Grossmont, a 25-15, 25-10, 25-18 winner over Imperial Valley to finish the regular season unbeaten), doesn't automatically punch a ticket to the regionals.

Maci Lerno had eight kills and two blocks for the Comets. Haley Farnum (right) had eight digs. Brittany Mitchell contributed 31 assists.

G-House clinches title, downing 2nd-place PC

EL CAJON (11-19-2014) -- State third-ranked Grossmont swept visiting Palomar in three competitive sets on Wednesday night 25-20, 25-19, 25-22 to clinch its fifth straight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship with one match left in the season.

The Griffins advanced to 24-0 on the season, 15-0 in conference. The Comets, who clinched undisputed second place in the nine-team conference last week on the same night Grossmont wrapped up no worse than a tie for the title, are 18-4, 12-3.

Coach Karl Seiler's PC team leads the three teams that are tied for third place by three matches.

Madi Stark (left) led Palomar with 11 kills, a block and seven digs. Hannah Seits (right) contributed 3.5 blocks for the Comets. Grossmont held Maci Lerno to four kills and a block.

Palomar, which had won seven matches in a row and 12 of their last 13 going into Wednesday's match, will close out the regular season on Thursday when the Comets visit San Diego City College at 5 p.m. in a match that has been re-scheduled from Friday.

TOP PHOTO: This kill by Rachel McFarland won the fourth set 25-23 for the Comets vs. San Diego Mesa on Friday night at The Dome.  DIRECTLY ABOVE: McFarland digs the ball. BELOW:  Madi Stark's ace gives Palomar a 13-11 lead in the fifth and deciding set.-- Photos by Hugh Cox

Palomar wins, clinches 2nd place in PCAC

SAN MARCOS (11-14-2014) -- With the San Diego Mesa women's volleyball team leading two sets to one on Friday night at The Dome, it appeared Palomar was in what could have been considerable trouble. Actually, the Comets had the Olympians right where they wanted them.

Coach Karl Seiler's squad battled back to win 25-18, 21-25, 21-25, 25-13, 15-12 in a nearly three-hour match. With the victory, the Comets clinched second place in the conference by themselves.

Rachel McFarland led Palomar with 10 kills and 3.5 blocks. Madi Stark (9 kills, 15 digs), Kelli Iverson (8 kills, 4 blocks), Maci Lerno (8 kills, 3.5 blocks) and Aspen Luedtke (4 ace serves, 39 assists) also had big nights.

Also Friday evening, state No. 3-ranked and unbeaten Grossmont won a similar marathon at Mt. San Jacinto 25-19, 21-25, 22-25, 25-16, 15-12 to clinch at least a tie for the championship. The Comets (18-3 overall, 12-2 in conference) trail the Griffins (23-0, 14-0) by two matches with two to play, and get a shot at the G-House next Wednesday in El Cajon.

But even if Palomar closes the regular season with two wins, on Wednesday and next Friday at San Diego City College, the Griffins (23-0, 14-0) would have to lose to Imperial Valley Friday, and the Arabs are in seventh place with three conference wins. So the bottom line is that the Comets will finish in second out of the PCAC's nine teams.

PC sweeps for 12th time, closes on top-2 finish

RANCHO SAN DIEGO (11-12-2014) -- Visiting Palomar took another step toward a second-place finish in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball on Wednesday night, dismantling Cuyamaca in three sets 25-20, 25-12, 25-15.

Colleen Jones and Madi Stark (left) each put down seven kills and Jones added three aces for the Comets. Aspen Luedtke (right) contributed four aces and 20 assists.

Palomar has won six matches in a row and 11 of its last 12 matches.

The Comets (17-3, 11-2), who have been sitting at No. 16 in the state rankings for the last four weeks, trail state No. 3 and and PCAC-leading Grossmont (22-0, 13-0) by two matches with three to play.

ABOVE: Maci Lerno finesses the ball over the net for a dink kill to give Palomar an 18-14 lead in the third set Friday night at The Dome. Lerno's 16 kills led the Comets to a 3-0 sweep of rival MiraCosta. BELOW: Colleen Jones digs the ball, also in the third set. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Lerno (16 kills) and Comets smack Spartans

SAN MARCOS (11-07-2014) -- Maci Lerno smacked a kill down MiraCosta's collective throats in the opening seconds of the first set and Palomar continued on to a 25-16, 25-18, 25-19 women's volleyball sweep at The Dome on Friday night.

With the victory, the Comets swept their season series from their North County rivals 2-0 and closed in on at least a second-place finish in the conference and a sure state community college playoff berth.

Lerno (16 kills, 2.5 blocks, 18 digs, an ace and a .452 hitting percentage) and Madi Stark (10 kills, 10 digs, 1 block) dropped the hammer on the Spartans as the Comets kept their pedal to the metal from the beginning of the match to the end to record their third sweep in a row and 11th sweep of the season.

"It was one of our best matches of the year, by far," said coach Karl Seiler, whose team upped its record to 16-3, 10-2 in conference and drove MiraCosta (9-10, 6-6) deeper into sixth place. The Comets have won five straight matches and 10 of their last 11.

Colleen Jones added 13 digs and 3 service aces for Palomar. Setter Aspen Luedtke had 31 assists.

Brianna Sizemore had 12 kills for the Spartans. Carly Cameron contributed 16 digs. Setter Taylor Little had 27 assists.

Palomar, ranked No. 16 in the state, never trailed in the first set, opening up a 24-12 lead.

In the second set, MiraCosta led briefly at the midway point before the Comets took the lead back at 15-14 on a Lerno kill and steadily drew away. Out of Palomar's last 12 points, Lerno had 4 kills and a block, Stark had 3 kills, Jones had two aces and Luedtke delivered the 25th point with an ace.

In set No. 3, the Spartans hung around for a while, but never threatened. Lerno put down a kill for the 25th point.

Comets get 10th sweep, are 15-3, 9-2 in PCAC

IMPERIAL (11-05-2014) -- Led by Madi Stark (left), Maci Lerno (right) and Aspen Leudtke, Palomar recorded its 10th sweep of the women's volleyball season on Wednesday night, disposiing of Imperial Valley 25-14, 25-19, 25-19 at the DePaoli Sports Center.

Stark led the state No. 16-ranked Comets (15-3, 9-2) to the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory with 11 kills and 10 digs. Lerno added 10 kills. Aspen Leudtke contributed six aces and 22 assists.

Palomar ran its current win streak to four and won for the ninth time in its last 10 matches.

The Comets remain two matches behind conference leader and state No. 3-ranked Grossmont, which swept MiraCosta 25-15, 25-20, 25-20 on the road to run its record to 20-0 on the season, 11-0 in the PCAC. Palomar stays two matches up in the loss column over two other teams that won Wednesday night, San Diego City College (over Southwestern) and San Diego Mesa (over Cuyamaca), is also two matches ahead of Mt. San Jacinto and has a three-match lead over sixth-place MiraCosta, which comes to town for a second-round match at 5 p.m. Friday.

ABOVE: Colleen Jones delivers the final point to end the first sent with this kill, which made the score Palomar 25, Southwestern 10. BELOW LEFT: A block by Kelli Iverson (No. 10) leaves Southwestern's Alexis Benavides (No. 15) looking skyward. No. 6 for the Comets is Aspen Luedtke. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Megan Wood, who had two key kills in the third set.

PC sweeps Southwestern; 12 kills for Lerno

SAN MARCOS (10-31-2014) -- State No. 16-ranked Palomar further solidified its hold on second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball standings on Friday evening at the Dome, disposing of last-place Southwestern in three sets and 1 hour, 13 minutes.

The set scores were 25-10, 25-20, 25-12.

Maci Lerno, sitting out various periods of the match, had 12 kills, 2 blocks, 8 digs and 2 assists to lead the Comets (14-3 overall, 8-2 in conference). Coleen Jones and Rachel McFarland each contributed eight kills. Aspen Luedtke had 31 assists and 9 digs.

For the visiting Jaguars (0-16, 0-11), Jillian Alegre had 9 kills and 3 service aces.

Palomar had its way in the first set from the early going when it jumped out to a 4-0 lead until Jones delivered a kill for the Comets' 25th point.

Southwestern had its moments in the second set, all in the early part of the set, until a kill by McFarland that put Palomar on top for the first time 5-4. The Comets led the rest of the way, and McFarland put the Jaguars away with another kill for the 25th point.

Palomar led for the entire third set after initially  falling behind 1-0. Megan Wood came off the bench to record a pair of late kills that gave the Comets their biggest lead of the set 20-10, then finished off the visitors at match point.

Palomar trails first-place and state No. 3-ranked Grossmont, which had a bye Wednesday, by two matches as the conference teams head into the final stretch. Mt. San Jacinto, San Diego City College and San Diego Mesa, who are all 7-4, are two matches in back of the Comets in a three-way tie for third.

In Wednesday's other PCAC matches, Mt. San Jacinto swept Imperial Valley 3-0, San Diego City swept Cuyamaca 3-0 and Mesa defeated MiraCosta 3-1.

Palomar moves to No. 16 in state rankings

PASADENA (10-27-2014) -- Palomar moved from No. 19 to No. 16 in the California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association state rankings on Monday.

The Comets are ranked 10th in Southern California.

Three undefeated teams, Cabrillo, Irvine Valley and Grossmont, are ranked 1-2-3 in the state. Irvine Valley and Grossmont are 1-2 in the Southern California poll.

Lerno takes Women's Athlete of Week award

SAN DIEGO (10-27-2014) -- Palomar's Maci Lerno has been honored as Women's Athlete of the Week by the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Lerno, the Comets' sophomore outside hitter / middle blocker from Southwest High School in El Centro, led the state-ranked Comets to a 2-0 week.

Lerno put down 20 kills as the Comets defeated San Diego City College 25-16, 29-31, 25-16, 25-21 to take over undisputed second place in the conference behind state No. 3-ranked Grossmont. Palomar knocked City College into a tie for third place in the process.

Lerno came back two nights later withn 13 kills, 14 digs and three blocks as the Comets avenged a first-round loss to Mt. San Jacinto by winning 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23.

TOP PHOTO: Mt. San Jacinto's Taylor Kushner (left), the state leader in kills for the second straight season, and Palomar's Maci Lerno (right) both came up big for their respective teams on Think Pink Cancer Awareness Fundraising Night on Friday at the Dome. Two two combined for 31 kills, with Lerno and the Comets winning in four sets. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Rachel McFarland (5) follows through on her kill that finished off the Eagles with the 25th point in set No. 4.  BELOW LEFT: Madi Stark, shown on an ace serve. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Aspen Luedtke, who had 3.5 blocks and 33 assists for Palomar

PC holds off Mt. San Jac, still alone in 2nd

SAN MARCOS (10-24-2014) -- Palomar won for the seventh time in its last eight matches in women's volleyball on Friday evening at The Dome, holding off Mt. San Jacinto 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23) in on Think Pink Cancer Awareness Fundraising Night.

With the win, the Comets, who moved to 13-3 on the season and 7-2 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, remained alone in second place in the conference behind unbeaten and state third-ranked Grossmont. The Griffins swept Cuyama on Friday 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, 25-7).

Maci Lerno again led Palomar with 13 kills, 3 blocks and 17 digs. Rylee Zimmerman also was in double figures in kills with 10. Madi Stark had 7 kills and 16 digs. And setter Aspen Luedtke contributed 3.5 blocks and 33 assists.

State leader Taylor Kushner had 18 kills for Mt. San Jacinto (12-6, 5-4). Sam Salcido had 30 digs. Setter Alissya Theis had 34 assists.

After winning the first set decisively, the Comets jumped in front of the Eagles early in the second set and led most of the way until a late run by the visitors.

Palomar led wire-to-wire in the third set, getting four kills, a service ace and a block from Lerno, before Rachel McFarland put the set away with a kill for the 25th point.

Mt. San Jacinto, with its back to the wall, came out firing on all cylinders in fourth set, taking a 3-0 lead and staying in fron until the Comets finally pulled even at 19-19. A block by Hannah Seits put Palomar on top for the first time at 20-19.

With the teams tied 20-20. Zimmerman put down two late kills and Lerno put the set and match away on a dink kill for the 25th and final point of the night.

State No. 19 PC tops No. 23 City, alone in 2nd

SAN MARCOS (10-22-2014) -- Led by a 20-kill performance by Maci Lerno (left), Palomar took over undisputed second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in women's volleyball on Wednesday night at The Dome.

The Comets (12-3, 6-2), ranked No. 19 in the state, pinned a 3-1 (25-26, 31-29, 19-25, 25-21) defeat on No. 23-ranked San Diego City College. The Knights, who get another shot at Palomar in San Diego in the last match of the regular season on Nov. 21, were tied with the Comets for second place prior to Wednesday.

Lerno's kills, and two kills and a service ace by Madi Stark which gave the Comets their 23rd through 25th points, boosted Palomar to the lop-sided win in the first set.

Lerno's kill put the Comets on top 30-29 in the marathon second set as the Comets battled back from an early 13-8 deficit. Palomar won it when City hit a ball into the net, handing the Comets their 31st point.

Ater the Knights won set No. 3, Maci Stark (above right) contributed five kills late in the third set to give the Comets their 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and deciding 25th points.

Rylee Zimmerman also had a big all-around match for Palomar, which still trails first-place and state third-ranked Grossmont by two matches in the PCAC. The Griffins (17-0, 8-0) defeated Imperial Valley on Wednesday 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-16).

Mt. San Jacinto, a five-set winner over San Diego Mesa, and MiraCosta, which swept winless Southwestern, remain one match behind the Comets in the conference with 5-3 records. Mt. San Jacinto visits The Dome on Friday for Palomar's annual "Think Pink" Cancer Awareness fund-raising match (see below).

Maci Lerno, Palomar's returning first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection, celebrates a point that helped propel the Comets past MiraCosta in the deciding set two weeks ago in Oceanside. Coach Kyle Seiler is at the right of the picture. The Comets will host their annual "Think Pink" match on Friday at 5 p.m. at The Dome when they face Mt. San Jacinto and state kill leader Taylor Kushner. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Think Pink Night" proceeds will go to Koman

SAN MARCOS (20-21-2014) -- Proceeds from Palomar's "Think Pink" home women's volleyball match against Mt. San Jacinto and state kill leader Taylor Kushner on Friday evening will be donated to the Susan G. Koman Foundation for Cancer Research.

"We're asking the campus community to join in this effort," Palomar athletic director Scott Cathcart said.

Last year, Susan G. Komen's community grants provided financial and social support for more than 50,000 families impacted by breast cancer. The Foundation's methods inclue education, sjpport for research, extension of grants to provide financial and emotional assistance to those affected and to advocate for better public breast cancer policy. In the broader sence, the foundation works to ensure quality care for all and invest in the science to find a cure.

Prior to Friday's match, the state No. 19-ranked Comets will host No. 23-ranked San Diego City College on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in a match-up of the two teams that are tied for second place behind state No. 3-ranked Grossmont in the conference.

Palomar comes in to this week's two home matches with records of 11-3 on the season and 5-2 in the PCAC.

G-House shows why it's ranked 3rd in the state

SAN MARCOS (10-17-2014) -- Grossmont College, which entered its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-place showdown with Palomar undefeated, wasted little time Friday demonstrating why it reached the state championship match last season and why it's currently ranked third in California.

The Griffins turned back the Comets 3-0 (25-9, 25-23, 25-18) at the Dome, advancing to 16-0 on the season and 7-0 in conference along the way.

Palomar (11-3, 5-2) gave the visitors everything they could handle in the second set, and had its moments in the third set. But the Comets were never able to climb back into the match after the devastating opening set.

Palomar led three times as the second set wore on by scores of 14-13, 17-16 and 19-18. The Comets also jumped out to a 2-0 lead to begin the third set.

Maci Lerno (left) came up big in defeat for the Comets with 10 kills, 8 digs and 1.5 blocks. Madi Stark (right) added 6 kills and 2 aces.

For Grossmont, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo transfer Lexi Reddick led in kills with 17. Alyssa Cortez had five kills.

PC sweeps Mesa, awaits Grossmont on Friday

SAN DIEGO (10-15-2014) -- State No. 22-ranked Palomar had its way with No. 18-ranked San Diego Mesa 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-18) on Wednesday night and will host unbeaten and state third-ranked Grossmont on Friday in an early Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball showdown.

The Comets, who have won five straight matches and eight of their last nine, will come into Friday's 5 p.m. match at The Dome 11-2 on the season and 5-1 in the PCAC. The Griffins, who finished second in the 2013 CCCAA state tournament, are 15-0 (6-0 in conference).

Grossmont remained undefeated for 2014 on Wednesday by sweeping Mt. San Jacinto 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-17). The Eagles came into that match with an 11-3 record.

Madi Stark (left) put down nine kills and had five digs and two aces to pace Palomar statistically against Mesa. Maci Lerno had seven kills and two service aces. Rylee Zimmerman contributed seven kills and five digs.

Setter Aspen Leudtke (right) had 26 assists.

TOP PHOTO: Brittany Mitchell (left) and Gabby Hutzler (right) team up on a double dig for Palomar in its 3-0 sweep of Cuyamaca on Friday evening. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Maci Lerno digs the ball as Rachel McFarland (5) and Aspen Luedke (6) look on. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Colleen Jones, who had seven kills for the Comets. BELOW RIGHT: Megan Wood. She served the final three points in the second set

Palomar sweeps Cuyamaca, is 10-2 on year

SAN MARCOS (10-10-2014) -- Warming up for a huge week, Palomar kept up its winning ways in women's volleyball on Wednesday at The Dome, sweeping visiting Cuyamaca 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-13).

The Comets, ranked as high as No. 14 in the state community college volleyball poll earlier in the season and currently ranked 22nd, advanced to 10-2 on the season and 4-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

They've won four matches in a row and seven of their last eight going into crucial PCAC matchups next week with state No. 21 Mesa on the road on Wednesday and state No. 3-ranked Grossmont at home on Friday. The Griffins were last season's state runners-up.

Maci Lerno led with nine kills and Colleen Jones added seven kills against the Coyotoes in a match in which coach Karl Seiler was able to clear his bench early. Lerno provided the Comets with their 25th point in each of the first two sets, but was long gone by the time a Cuyamaca player hit the ball into the net for the final point in the third set.

Aspen Luedtke had 18 assists and six digs for Palomar. Kelly Iverson had two blocks. Megan Wood served the last three points in the second set.

Courtney Andreotti had 10 digs to lead the Coyotes (0-14, 0-6).

Grossmont came from behind to defeat Mesa on Friday 3-2 (25-12, 18-25, 23-25, 25-15, 15-7) and remain undefeated on the season at 14-0 in conference and 5-0 in conference. Palomar, Mesa and Mt. San Jacinto, which defeated Southwestern 3-0 (25-9, 25-22, 22-19), are all one match behind the Olympians at 4-1. 

ABOVE: Palomar's Maci Lerno (left) and Rylee Zimmerman (right) deliver kills against MiraCosta in the first set on Wednesday night. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Aspen Luedtke, who contributed 42 assists for the Comets. With MiraCosta bringing volleyball back after dropping the sport 23 years ago, it was the first time the two teams have played since 1991.

Same old story 23 years later for PC, MiraCosta

OCEANSIDE (10-08-2014) -- Palomar College and rival MiraCosta lined up to play each other in women's volleyball on Wednesday evening for the first time in 23 years.

Facing each other at the same MiraCosta gym where Palomar took 57 minutes to dispose of the Spartans 15-5, 15-8, 15-3 on Wednesday night, Nov. 13, 1991, Wednesday's meeting lasted significantly longer and was way more competitive, but had a familiar result. As in both of their 1991 matches when Palomar swept twice, the Comets won.

This time, Palomar outlasted the Spartans in five sets 25-22, 23-25, 24-26, 25-14, 17-15 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference match during which the two Highway 78 rivals battled tooth-and -nail, back-and-forth for 2 hours and 18 minutes.

One month and nine days after the teams' last meeting prior to Wednesday, on Dec. 17, 1991, the MiraCosta College board voted 5-2 to drop women's volleyball and four other sports. This is the first season since then that the Spartans have had a team.

The state 22nd-ranked Comets (9-2, 3-1) got a combined 44 kills from Rylee Zimmerman (17), Madi Stark (14) and Maci Lerno (13) in defeating the Brianna Sizemore-led Spartans (4-7, 1-3)

Hannah Seits contributed three blocks. Aspen Luedtke, the Palomar setter, had 42 assists.

After the teams split the first two sets, MiraCosta heated up and opened up a 22-13 lead in the third set before the Comets battled back. Getting monster kills from Seits and Zimmerman, and a key block by Seits, Palomar pulled to within a point, then tied the set 24-24. But the Spartans scored the last two points of the set and took a 2-1 lead into set 4.

The fourth set turned out to be the only one-sided set of the evening. The Comets went on a surge to lead 13-8, forcing a MiraCosta timeout, and it was 19-13 when Lerno served five straight points, making it 24-13.

At that juncture the Spartans broke service, but Stark's kill won the set for Palomar 25-14.

The Comets led most of the way in the fifth and deciding set, but the Spartans kept battling back, tying the score and eventually taking three one-point leads at 13-12, 14-13 and 15-14. With the teams tied 15-15, Lerno put Palomar up by a point 16-15 with a block.

The match-winner came when MiraCosta was called for touching the net.

View, Download Hugh Cox's Photos From This Event

Lerno (11 kills), Comets sweep Imperial Valley

SAN MARCOS (10-03-2014) -- Maci Lerno (left) put down 11 kills on Friday as Palomar swept Imperial Valley 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-16) in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference match at The Dome.

The Comets, who were ranked No. 14 in the state before dropping their conference opener to Mt. San Jacinto last week, advanced to 8-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference.

Colleen Jones had six kills for Palomar. Setter Aspen Luedtke contributed 31 assists.

The Arabs led early in the first set 1-0 and 3-2. Lerno's kill made it Palomar 4, IVC 3 and the Comets never trailed again.

The second set was tied twice early, at 6-6 and 7-7 but Palomar went on a run to score 18 of the last 24 points to win it going away. Lerno's dink for the Comet's 25th point finished off the Arabs.

Rachel McFarland served the final point of the the third set, with Jones' kill ending the match.

Palomar has won four of its most recent five matches, giving the Comets momentum going into next Wednesday's match at rival MiraCosta.

Palomar sweeps to PCAC victory on the road

CHULA VISTA (10-01-2014) -- Palomar wasted little time disposing of Southwestern in three sets in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball match Wednesday evening in the Jaguars' gym.

The set scores were 24-14, 24-14, 24-13.

Maci Lerno knocked down eight kills, while Rylee Zimmerman, Rachel McFarland and Madi Stark each contributed six kills for the Comets (7-2, 1-1), who have won four of their last five matches. Lerno also had two blocks.

Setter Aspen Leudtke had 25 assists and five aces.

Palomar returns to The Dome on Friday to take on Imperial Valley in another PCAC match, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Comets, ranked No.14 for three straight weeks, are bidding to rebound into the state poll conducted by the California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association. They were unranked this week after losing at Mt. San Jacinto last Wednesday night.

PICTURED: Madi Stark puts down a kill for Palomar. No. 11 for the Comets is Hanna Seits. -- Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College

24th-ranked Eagles top PC in conference opener

SAN JACINTO (9-24-2014) -- Mt. San Jacinto, which is unbeaten against California opponents but ranked only 24th in the state, surprised 14th-ranked Palomar 3-0 in the teams' Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday evening.

The Eagles, playing at home, won 25-18, 25-22, 25-16.

For Palomar, Maci Lerno led in kills with seven. Kelli Iverson had five kills.

Mt. San Jacinto has lost only to Arizona Western College in going 7-1 this season. The Comets saw their 2014 record fall to 6-2.

State No. 14 Comets go 3-0 at Mesa Invitational

EL CAJON / SAN DIEGO (9-21-2014) -- Coach Karl Seiler's Palomar women's volleyball squad, ranked No. 14 in the California Community College Coaches Association state poll for the second week in a row, swept to three victories in three matches in the two-day San Diego Mesa Invitational.

The Comets opened with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 30-28) sweep of Cerro Coso on Friday.

They came back Saturday to defeat Citrus 3-0 (25-22,25-11, 25-23) and the NJCAA's Phoenix College 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 18-25, 16-14).

Maci Lerno had a big tournament for Palomar, which has started the season 7-1.

On Saturday, Lerno contributed 23 kills, 2 aces and 14 digs vs. the Owls and the Bears.

Rylee Zimmerman (above right, 14 kills, 5 aces,24 digs), Madi Stark (18 kills, 7 aces, 2 digs), Aspen Luedtke I51 assists) and Kelli Iverson (11 kills) also played major roles in Saturday's victories.

Aspen Luedtke of Palomar returns the ball right back at Irvine Valley's Marisa Doran on Wednesday at The Dome. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

State No. 2 Lasers hold off No. 14 Comets in 3

SAN MARCOS (9-10-2014) -- Palomar's three-match win streak to begin the season went by the boards in three sets in its home opener on Wednesday at The Dome, courtesy of the state's No. 2-ranked community college team, Irvine Valley.

The Lasers swept the state 14th-ranked Comets 25-18, 25-17, 25-15 as the visitors advanced to 3-0 on the season, including a five-set victory over the nation's second-ranked NAIA team, Concordia University of Irvine.

Palomar played its best volleyball early in the match, coming back from a 6-0 deficit in the first set to pull even at 6-6 and then 7-7. The Comets also were down by only one point, at 13-12, midway through the second half. But they never were able to take a lead in 1-hour, 44-minute non-conference match-up.

State No. 14 Comets host No. 2 Irvine Valley

SAN MARCOS (9-09-2014) -- The Palomar women's volleyball team, which is off to a 3-0 start and is ranked No. 14 in the state, could hardly have picked a tougher opponent for Wednesday's home opener than Irvine Valley, the team the Comets will play at 5 p.m. at The Dome.

The Lasers (2-0) come in ranked second in the state and are fresh from a five-set victory over Concordia University of Irvine, the No. 2 team in the nation in the NAIA. Concordia is ranked only behind the defending NAIA national champion, University of Texas at Brownsville. Concordia has been ranked in the top three in the last 37 national polls.

For its part, Irvine Valley is ranked behind only defending state champion Cabrillo, which has a 33-match winning streak, in the California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association poll that was released on Monday.

Grossmont, which lost to Cabrillo in the 2013 state championship match, is No. 3 in the state rankings. In the Southern California poll, Irvine Valley is ranked No. 1, followed by Grossmont at No. 2, El Camino at No. 3, Santa Barbara City College at No. 4, Golden West at No. 5, San Diego Mesa at No. 7 and Palomar at No. 8.

Palomar, behind kill leader and returning first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection Maci Lerno (above left), reached the No. 14 spot in the state rankings with victories over state No. 16 Chaffey 3-1, Pasadena City College (3-0) and San Bernardino Valley (3-0).

Lerno, a 5-foot-9 sophomore outside hitter / middle blocker from Southwest High School in El Centro who also starts for the Comets' softball team, is averaging 3.1 kills per set. Aspen Luedtke (above right), Palomar's freshman setter from Mission Vista High School, averages 8.30 assists per set.

Irvine Valley is led by Annie Mitchem, a 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Friendswood High in Friendswood, Texas who put down 16 kills in the win over Concordia and 19 kills in a 3-0 sweep over state No. 18 College of the Canyons.

Palomar is 3-0 after sweeping San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO (9-05-2014) -- Palomar is off to a 3-0 start after going on the road again and sweeping its non-conference volleyball match from San Bernardino Valley 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-17) on Friday night at the SBVC Women's Gym.

Madi Stark (left)  and Maci Lerno led the Comets with eight kills apiece. Rylee Zimmerman (right) had four digs, and Aspen Luedtke contribted 24 assists from her setter position.

Palomar will be back in action on Wednesday, when the Comets host one of the top teams in the state, Irvine Valley, at the Dome. The match is slated for a 5 p.m. start.

Lerno's 23 kills lead PC to pair of victories

EL CAJON (8-30-2014) -- Led by returning All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection Maci Lerno's 23 kills, Palomar's women's volleyball team opened its 2014 season by defeating Pasadena City College and Chaffey on Saturday in the Grossmont College Quad.

The Comets swept Pasadena 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-23). They turned back Chaffey 3-1 (28-26, 25-13, 23-25, 25-8).

Lerno (left) put down 14 kills, Rylee Zimmerman 8 and Madi Stark 8 against Chaffey. Stark also had 15 digs.

Kelli Iversion led in blocks wit 3. Amanda Gibson contributed 9 digs, and Aspen Luedtke had 32 assists.

In the Pasadena match, Lerno had 9 kills and 11 digs. Stadi had 7 kills and 3 service aces. Luedtke contributed 27 assists.

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