Huntington Beach, Calif. - Golden West came out and dominated the first two sets of the match but winning the third set proved difficult as they fell to Palomar in a five set thriller 25-11, 25-13, 20-25, 26-28, and 18-20.
The first two sets the Rustlers hit .320 and .360 with minimal mistakes and looked poised to finish off a 3-0 sweep at home until the Comets got hot late in the third set. The momentum shifted with each rally in the fourth set as both teams battled leading to a Palomar set win 28-26 to set up a tension gripping fifth set.
Golden West would take an early 5-2 lead in the fifth set forcing the Comets to take their first timeout. The Rustlers found themselves behind 9-7 before head coach Bill Lawler used his first timeout to refocus, which proved fruitful as the Rustlers would take a 14-13 lead. Unfortunately, Golden West couldn't close it out and fell 20-18 in the decisive fifth set.
Golden West will open Orange Empire Conference play on Friday as they are set to host Santa Ana College at 6pm.