Volleyball wins in four sets

The Taft College volleyball team continues to turn in solid Central Valley Conference performances while the men’s soccer team continues to face top teams in non-conference play.

The Cougar volleyball team opened the second half of conference action last Friday with a four-set home victory over Merced College to hang onto third place in the CVC with a 7-2 record (9-10 overall).

The scores were 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 27-25.

Virgie Salanoa-Sagapolu paced Cougar attacks with 10 kills but the wealth was spread around.  Courtnie Perry had eight, Jasmina Clayton and Luse Lumas six each, Playton Spragling four and Makanalani Cardus-Kane three.

Sophomore Janell Molina was all over the backcourt with 29 digs but had help from Salanoa (14), Spragling (13) Lumas (12) and Karlie Richardson (6).

Spragling recorded 29 assists.

The Cougars had a good night defensively at the net with eight blocks, led by Lumas with four.  Perry had two and Clayton and Spragling one each.

Wednesday the Cougars travel to Sonora to play Columbia College, winless in the conference at 0-8 and 2-13 overall.  TC draws the conference bye on Friday before hosting Fresno, No. 2 in northern California and No. 5 in the state, next Wednesday.  

“I think this might be Fresno’s best team,” said Cougar head coach Kanoe Bandy.  That’s saying a lot since the Rams have won 71 consecutive conference matches.

Standings look like this:
Fresno 9-0 (18-1), Sequoias 8-1 (11-4), Taft 7-2 (9-10), Merced 5-4 (7-6), Porterville 3-5-l1 (6-11-1), Reedley 3-5-1 (3-10-1), West Hills 3-6 (3-11), Cerro Coso 1-8 (1-14), Columbia 0-8 (2-13).  


The No. 7 state ranked Cougar men have two big non-league matches this week: today at home against northern California powerhouse Hartnell (8-0-5), ranked No. 4 in the state  before traveling south on Friday to take on Santa Ana (8-2-4).

Last week the Cougars defeated Pasadena 2-1.

The Cougars built a 2-0 lead before the Lancers scored off a corner kick header in the 78th minute.

Fabian Roman broke the ice with a goal in the 15th minute after taking a pass from Steven Bogden to give the Cougars a 1-0 halftime lead.
In the 55th minute TC made it 2-0 on a goal by Gonzalo Rolon.  Isaac Campos got the assist.

The teams were even in shots with six apiece.  

The Cougar women played a conference match against West Hills Lemoore last Friday but results had not been posted by press time.

TC hosts College of the Sequoias today at 1 o’clock and Cerro Coso of Ridgecrest on Friday, also at 1 p.m.  Next Tuesday the Cougars host league-leading Fresno at 1 p.m.