Lady Cougars win at Sonora and at the Santa Rosa Junior College Tournament

For Taft College’s volleyball team a week away from competition is a welcome departure.
Fighting through illness, fatigue and hours riding in the team van, the Cougars won two of three matches Friday and Saturday.

They traveled to Sonora Friday where they won a Central Valley Conference match against Columbia College; then they headed west for two matches Saturday in the Santa Rosa Junior College tournament.

“It was a very tiring trip, especially with several of our players battling colds,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy.  “Not playing again until this Friday should be a big help.”

The Cougars defeated Columbia 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21.

Tina Pulu paced the offense with 15 kills, followed by Tracy Lewis with 14 and Courtney Dickerson with 12.

Freshman libero Michelle Hardy was the standout defensively with 26 digs.  Morgan Blair was next with 10.

“That shows how dominant Michelle was,” Bandy said.

Pulu, Dickerson, Lewis and Robyn Goodspeed all had three blocks apiece.

In the Santa Rosa tournament the Cougars won a five-set match over West Valley by scores of 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12.

“In the fifth game when you switch sides after one team gets eight points we were down 8-3,” Bandy said.  “By that time we were exhausted, but after the switch of sides we got revived a little bit.  We got momentum and once we got the momentum there was no stopping them.”

Hardy was once again the defensive leader with 24 digs followed closely by Blair with 23 and setter Kawehi Doo with 22.

“It was a little bit off balance for us to be digging so many balls,” Bandy said.

Dickerson set the pace on offense with 13 kills, Goodspeed and Pulu had eight apiece, Lewis seven and Blair five.

Dickerson was strong at the net on defense too with eight blocks.  Goodspeed had four and Lewis one.

The Cougars then had to face host Santa Rosa, the No. 8 team in California, and lost in three sets 25-11, 29-19, 25-18.

“Santa Rosa is a very good team, and they handled us pretty well,” Bandy said.  “Sacramento is the only undefeated team in the state and they barely beat Santa Rosa in five sets.”

Doo led the Cougars with 12 digs, Hardy11 and Blair 10.

Lewis had seven kills, Dickerson, Goodspeed and Blair four each and Pulu three.
Lewis also had two blocks.

The busy weekend leaves the Cougars with a 10-7 overall record, 6-2 in conference.

TC resumes CVC action Friday with a trip to Merced.  The Cougars defeated the Blue Devils in the first round of conference play.