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COC volleyball: Momentum is slowed

COC’s conference win streak is stopped

Posted: October 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons' Kelsea Hundtoft (22) hits it through a Bakersfield block on Wednesday at College of the Canyons.

 

An impressive start to conference play hit a barricade on Wednesday night for College of the Canyons volleyball.

In this case, the barricade was Bakersfield, ranked sixth in the state, according the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association poll.

The Cougars had a few too many miscues in key situations on their way to losing 3-1 to Bakersfield with set scores of 25-27, 25-19, 25-21 and 26-24.

After winning its first three matches to open Western State Conference, South Division play, COC (8-7 overall, 3-1 conference) lost partly due to an off night serving.

“We made a significant number of unforced errors, many of which occurred at the service line, so we struggled to maintain any momentum we generated,” said COC head coach Lisa Hooper.

COC also had problems with the Bakersfield outside hitting duo of Caitlin Bernardin and Editza Urias, who finished with 16 and 14 kills, respectively.

In a match where all four sets were down to the wire, those two were routinely making plays to help the Renegades (12-4, 2-2) pull away down the stretch.

“We always talk about, ‘The next play up, play the next point.’ And we are just relentless about that,” said Bakersfield head coach Carl Ferreira.

As much as the Cougars struggled from the service line, it was a Bakersfield service error that gave COC its only set victory in a tightly-contested first set.

The next three sets played out very similarly. Neither team pulled in front by more than a couple of points and both teams were frequently siding out.

Kelsea Hundtoft and Saugus graduate Ashley Pagan co-led the Cougars with 13 kills each, while another Saugus graduate, Cory Nua, chipped in 12 kills.

“If we had done a little bit better job making the adjustments, I honestly think that the outcome could have been different,” Hooper said.

Set two was tied 19-19 before the Renegades rattled off six points in a row to win it.

COC got close, but never close enough in set three, and Bakersfield made just enough plays to finish another close fourth set.

Hart graduate Cassidy Fitzpatrick led the Cougars with 19 digs and setter Jordan Carter finished with 40 assists.
“We know what our strengths are, and I think we’re doing a decent job maximizing them,” Hooper said. “It just comes down to execution.”

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