Taft College defeats Shasta while losing to Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA – Taft College split two non-conference volleyball matches against ranked teams on Friday.

The Cougars defeated northern California No. 14 Shasta in a tense five-set match, then dropped a four-set match to host Santa Rosa JC, ranked seventh in NorCal and 16th in the state.

The split gives the Cougars an 8-3 overall record as they head into Wednesday’s Central Valley Conference match against West Hills in Coalinga. 

TC hosts Porterville Friday in a crucial early season CVC match scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.

Head coach Kanoe Bandy said her team was sluggish in both matches in Santa Rosa.

“Since it was a six hour drive we went up the night before, and by the time we played at 3 o’clock we were very, very lethargic,” she said. 

“We did get better as the day went on, but we made too many errors.

“Against Santa Rosa we lost one game by five points and two by two points.  We had 19 hitting errors and five service errors.  If we eliminate some of those it might have been closer.”

The scores were 24-26, 20-25, 25-23 and 22-25.

The Cougars defeated Shasta 3-2: 25-21, 14-25, 20-25, 25-23 and 19-17.

Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Mapusaga set the pace for the Cougars with 33 kills, 35 defensive digs and two blocks.

Freshman Risha Alaiasa had 29 kills and 26 digs, Maeleen Hopeau 26 kills, Kaylynn Palama 22 digs and Lani Kaiwi 10 digs.

Setter Palama tossed up 91 assists over the two matches.

Haley Walrath contributed six digs.

Mapusaga ranks third among CVC players in kills with 85 and third in digs with 112 and second in aces per set.

CVC standings: Taft 1-0 (8-3 overall), Fresno 1-0 (8-3), Porterville 1-0 (6-4), Merced 1-0 (5-5), Columbia 0-1 (6-4), Reedley 0-1 (4-6), Sequoias 0-1 (1-6) and West Hills 0-1 (0-6).

TC is ranked No. 13 in northern California, Fresno is 10th in the state and 3rd in NorCal and Porterville is 24th in the state and No. 11 among NorCal teams.