Huntington Beach, CA ‑ It may not be reflected in the win-loss column, but the Golden West College men's volleyball team might be the most playoff-ready team in the state.
Eight of the Rustlers' past nine matches were against teams ranked among the top 10 in the state, including three of their four against the top three teams in the state.
Golden West valiantly battled top-ranked Irvine Valley College before falling in four sets on Wednesday in an Orange Empire Conference match at Golden West.
The Rustlers (7-5), currently ranked eighth in the state in the most recent California Community College Men's Volleyball Coaches Association State Poll, fell 29-31, 25-22, 23-25, 22-25. The loss extends Golden West's losing streak to four matches and keeps the Rustlers winless in conference play.
Freshman Sterling Miles (Mater Dei High) tallied nine kills, and seven digs, sophomore Arturo Alday had 11 kills and sophomore Tyler Peck added six kills with a team-high 29 digs for the Rustlers. Freshman Reid Harrison (Long Beach Poly High) had team-high 29 assists with six digs and freshman Shilo Chow (Foothill High/Nevada) had four kills, 17 assists and a dig.
Golden West faces its first unranked opponent in a month when it plays host to Santiago Canyon College at 6 p.m. on Friday.