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College volleyball: COC in over its head

Pierce’s height proves too much for Canyons squad

Posted: November 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons teammates Jennie Long (19), and Michelle Nixon(3), block a shot by Fujii Sakurako (10) of Pierce College at College of the Canyons on Tuesday. Pierce won the match 3-0.

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When in doubt, the No. 1 ranked community college women’s volleyball team in the state could always go back to its 6-feet and above players.

College of the Canyons had no answer.

After watching an opportunity to win a set come and go early on, the Cougars suffered a 3-0 setback at the hands of undefeated Pierce on Tuesday at COC.

The Brahma Bulls squeaked out a 25-22 win in the first set and followed it up with 25-16 and 25-13 victories to close it out.
“They cleaned up their mistakes really well after that first (set) and we didn’t clean up ours as much and that’s where you kind of saw them distance themselves,” said COC head coach Lisa Hooper.

The No. 22-ranked Cougars (12-10, 7-4 Western State Conference, South Division) went stride-for-stride with Pierce throughout the first set, holding a lead as big as 11-8 until the Bulls later took control at 23-19.

A pair of miscues got COC within two at 23-21, but it was too late for a rally.

“When we execute our game plan, I think we played extremely well,” Hooper said.

After that, Pierce (26-0, 11-0) began to lean on 6-foot-1 outside hitter Danetta Boykin, who led all players with 17 kills and 6-foot-2 middle blocker Jasmine Levi, who ended up with nine kills.

Quite simply, they hit over COC’s block.

“We made some errors in the first game,” said Pierce head coach Nabil Mardini. “I knew at one point we’d play our game.”

Not to go down quietly, the Cougars used strong serving and scrappy defense to stay within a few points most of the way.
Every time COC tried to rally though, the Bulls seemed to have an answer.

“I think that we weren’t making the adjustments to them,” said COC libero and Hart High graduate Casey David, who finished with 12 digs.

Kelsea Hundtoft led the Cougars with seven kills and Jennie Long added five kills, eight digs and two blocks.

The last hope for COC came in the third set when it scored four straight points to tie the score at 9-9.

Pierce answered back fiercely with an 8-0 run to take a 17-9 lead and effectively put it away.

With one game remaining in conference play, Pierce has already cliched the WSC South title, while the Cougars fell to third place behind Bakersfield.

COC will conclude the regular season on Thursday at Glendale.

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