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COC volleyball: Cougars keep fighting

COC drops first game, rallies for three straight wins

Posted: November 2, 2010 9:48 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons’ Jennie Long returns a serve against Bakersfield on Tuesday night at COC. The Cougars won 3-1.


Despite a good record and talent across the court, College of the Canyons' women's volleyball team has had a problem staying aggressive this season.

That wasn't an issue on Tuesday.

Neither, it turned out, was Bakersfield College.

After dropping a close first game, the Cougars rebounded to take three straight games and the match 3-1 at College of the Canyons.

The Cougars won by scores of 26-28, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-22.

"We definitely went for it," said COC outside hitter Lindsey Murachanian, who led the team with 19 kills. "We usually get timid but we left our hearts out there."

The Cougars (10-7, 7-2) really turned up their intensity in the second game, jumping out to an 8-2 lead. They did so by not just switching the point of attack, but the attackers themselves.

"We realize we're undersized, so we have to be versatile," said COC head coach Lisa Hooper. "We're very athletic, and we have excellent ball control."

Bakersfield (11-8, 6-3) didn't help itself with several unforced errors in the second game, a trend that carried over into the third game.

After falling behind 4-0, College of the Canyons rallied for six straight points off the serve of libero Megan Lavo.

Bakersfield's serve-receive let it down again later in the game, when Murachanian's spinning serves led to four straight points to put the Cougars up 13-9, a lead they would not relinquish.

One thing that helped College of the Canyons wear down Bakersfield was consistently winning long points. The teams traded long rallies several times in the fourth game, but the Cougars won the point each time.

"I think we won the long rallies because we stayed aggressive," Hooper said. "We had to maintain that focus. Being timid doesn't do anything for you."

In the first game, Bakersfield did a lot to help itself. The Renegades didn't beat themselves with mistakes and showed toughness, especially late in the game, when they outlasted the Cougars.

"I thought we passed better in the first game," said Bakersfield head coach Carl Ferreira. "Defensively, I thought both teams were very good."

The Cougars' net play was a big reason for their turnaround, both on offense and defense.

By the middle of the third game, the Renegades couldn't get through College of the Canyons' block, so they started slipping kill attempts around it instead of trying to power kills home.

"Our blockers started to shut their hitters down, and that got in their heads," Murachanian said.

Lavo finished with 14 kills, while COC middle blocker Megan McKee had nine kills and opposite Jennie Long added eight. Middle blocker Courtney Cessna had two blocks.

For Bakersfield, outside hitter Ashley Simpson had 13 kills, middle blocker Samaiyah Wilkins had 10 kills and outside hitter Sarah Horcher had nine kills and 31 digs.

"We feel like the Texas Rangers," Ferreira said, "and they don't."




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