Taft rebounds from disaster against Porterville

Taft College shook off its worst performance of the season Wednesday night by sweeping visiting Merced College in a Central Valley Conference match.

"We played better than we did last Friday," said head coach Kanoe Bandy.

She was referring to being swept by Porterville, a match in which the Cougars never found any rhythm in an error-filled performance at TC.

The 25-12, 25-21, 25-15 sweep of the Blue Devils pushed the Cougars to 3-1 in the conference and 10-4 overall and took some of the sting out of the Porterville loss.

But Bandy still came away with concerns.

"We still have players who are not playing aggressively. We had too many balls that that got through, and that's a little frustrating."

Tiffany Mapusaga let the offensive effort with 14 kills and added 6 digs on defense.

Maeleen Hopeau had 6 kills, Risha Alaiasa 5, Chelsea Wong 3, and Sweet Vaimoui and Haley Walrath 2 each.

Wong delivered 9 defensive digs, Alaiasa and Tara Kelley 7 digs apiece, Kaylynn Palama 6 and Lani Kaiwi 5.

Hopeau had 6 blocks and Wong 2.

Palama tossed up 26 assists.

The Cougars got off to a quick start in the first set, running out to a 6-1 lead on Alaiasa's service ace.

TC maintained a 7-8 point lead through most of the set before going on a 6-0 run that increased the lead to 11 (20-9) with Wong getting two kills during the spree.

TC came out a bit flat in the second game.

There were seven ties and four lead changes until the Blue Devils built a four-point lead at 15-11.

That's when the Cougars went on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good and finished off the set with kills from Wong and Hopeau.

The momentum carried over into the third set as the Cougars raced out to a 10-3 lead and never looked back, closing it out with a 6-2 run.

The Cougars travel to Reedley tonight and host College of the Sequoias next Wednesday.