Taft College’s volleyball season ended Tuesday night with a heartbreaking five-set loss to Gavilan College in Gilroy.
After the No. 9-seeded Cougars won the first two sets 25-22 and 27-25, No. 8 Gavilan fought back to win the next two 25-13 and 25-17 to force a tie-breaking fifth game.
Set five was a back-and-forth struggle with the Rams outlasting the Cougars 21-19.
All-Northern California outside hitter Chanel Cantere again led the Cougar offense with 19 kills and added 16 digs on defense.
Two freshmen also had a big night.
Tiffany Mapusaga led the Cougar defensive effort with 29 digs while Tyra Williams recorded 14 kills, 11 digs and blocked two shots.
The Cougars, after a third place finish in the Central Valley Conference, ended the season with a 17-8 record.
Had TC won the playoff match, the Cougars would have had to play CVC champion and No. 1 seed Fresno City College after the Rams swept No. 16 Diablo Valley. Fresno beat the Cougars twice during conference play – in five sets and in three.
Gavilan now will travel to Fresno Saturday for a second-round match.
The other CVC team in the playoffs – No. 6 Porterville – was pushed to five sets before defeating No. 11 Monterey Peninsula. The Pirates will travel to No. 3 Santa Rosa on Saturday.