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(PHOTO BY HUGH COX)
With Palomar volleyball coach Karl Seiler looking
on, Maci Lerno signs a letter of intent with
Cumberland University. -- Courtesy photo
PC's Lerno signs
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
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.
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
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
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
season came to an end on Tuesday night at The
Dome despite big nights by outside hitters Madi Stark and Maci
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,
Stark finished her freshman season with 15 kills
and 15 digs against the bigger Cougars. Playing
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Colleen Jones digs the
ball, also in the third set. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
Lerno (16 kills) and Comets
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
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
Colleen Jones added 13 digs and
3 service aces for Palomar. Setter Aspen Luedtke had 31
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
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
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
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.
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
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
The set scores were 25-10,
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
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
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
Palomar moves to No. 16 in state
Palomar moved from No. 19 to No. 16
in the California Community College Women's
Volleyball Coaches Association state rankings on
The Comets are ranked 10th in
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
Lerno takes Women's Athlete of Week award
DIEGO (10-27-2014) --
Palomar's Maci Lerno has been honored as Women's
Athlete of the Week by the Pacific Coast Athletic
Lerno, the Comets' sophomore
outside hitter / middle blocker from Southwest High
School in El Centro, led the state-ranked Comets to a
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
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.
Aspen Luedtke, who had
3.5 blocks and 33 assists for Palomar
PC holds off Mt.
San Jac, still alone in 2nd
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Megan Wood. She served
the final three points in the second set
Palomar sweeps Cuyamaca, is 10-2 on year
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Download Hugh Cox's Photos From This Event
Lerno (11 kills), Comets sweep Imperial Valley
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
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
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
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
PICTURED: Madi Stark puts down a
kill for Palomar. No. 11 for the Comets is Hanna
Seits. -- Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern
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
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
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
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
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
Aspen Luedtke of
Palomar returns the ball right back at Irvine Valley's
Marisa Doran on Wednesday at The Dome. -- Photo by Hugh
State No. 2
Lasers hold off No. 14 Comets in 3
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
State No. 14 Comets
host No. 2 Irvine Valley
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
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
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
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.
Photos by Melinda
Palomar's 2013 club sand
volleyball team with coach Karl Seiler. The Comets will
field a varsity intercollegiate team this upcoming
spring. -- Courtesy photo
Addition of sand v-ball
brings sport total to 22
SAN MARCOS (5-29-2014) --
Palomar has added women's sand volleyball as its 22nd
intercollegiate varsity sport, Director of Athletics
Scott Cathcart has announced.
The Comets will field its first
team next spring with Karl Seiler, their indoor women's
volleyball coach for the last 18 years, as head coach.
Seiler, who will be head coach of both teams, has guided
Palomar to conference indoor championships in 1996,
2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009.
He'll step down as an assistant
for the men's volleyball team, which also plays in the
The Californnia Community
College Athletic Association added sand volleyball as a
varsity sport at its March convention. It's been a club
sport for the past two springs.
Palomar will play in the Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference along with five other
first-year programs -- Grossmont College, MiraCosta
College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College
and Southwestern College.
Seiler, the Comets' coach,
played at Torrey Pines High School and for Palomar's
men's volleyball team in 1988 and 1989 and has a
Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University and a
Master's degree from Azusa Pacific University. He's a
full-time instructor in Palomar's Kinesiology
Department. He said he's actively seeking players to
play for both Palomar's sand volleyball and indoor
"Sand volleyball gives us 11
men's sports and 11 women's sports and is a natural fit
for our (athletics) program," Cathcart said. "It will
provide a major enchancement to our established indoor
program while expanding our offerings (in women's