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COC women's volleyball back on top

Cougars capture first conference crown in 13 years

Posted: November 20, 2013 10:48 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2013 10:48 p.m.
 

The College of the Canyons women’s volleyball team can call itself conference champions for the first time in 13 years.

The COC Cougars clinched the outright Western State Conference, South Division title on Wednesday with a 3-1 win over Bakersfield College by set scores of 25-15, 25-12, 16-25, 25-23 at Bakersfield in the regular-season finale.

Serena LeDuff led COC with 18 kills and 27 digs.

“I’m so proud of my girls,” said COC head coach Lisa Hooper. “They really, really played as well as any team that I’ve coached.”

COC has won conference titles only two other times in program history — 1999 and 2000. Both were under Hooper’s lead.

It heads into the postseason with a 20-3 record and a No. 23 ranking in the state.

To get to this point, the Cougars first had to get through Bakersfield, which handed COC its only conference loss of the season on Oct. 25 at COC.

Coming into Wednesday’s match, the two teams were tied atop the conference standings at 10-1.

COC got its revenge, winning the first two sets decisively before tripping up in the third set and bouncing back to narrowly win the fourth.

“We were very poised and executed our game plan and the last few points of the match were all Canyons’,” Hooper said.

This season, the Cougars have been led by a local-heavy group. Some key contributors include LeDuff, a West Ranch graduate, in addition to fellow West Ranch graduate Sage Hernandez, Hart graduate Cassidy Fitzpatrick and Canyon graduate Lauren Underwood.

In Wednesday’s match, Hernandez had 13 kills at a .500 hit percentage and setter Jordan Carter tallied 36 assists, 16 digs and three blocks.

The Cougars will learn their Southern California Regional tournament seeding on Sunday. COC will be placed in a 16-team bracket which will begin play on Tuesday.

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