Lady Wildcats fall to West Vikings

The Taft varsity volleyball team’s reentry into the single match schedule turned out to be a bumpy one Thursday evening after the Lady Wildcats fell to the West High Vikings 18-25, 25-16, 14-25 and 18-25.

"West is a tough team,” said Taft coach Adeana McDaniel Furman. “They attack the ball very well. We had a tough time defensively against their two outside attackers.”

With the loss, Taft falls to 7-7 overall.

The Lady Wildcat headaches started in the first set when West High jumped out to a 7-2 advantage. Taft fought back by cutting the Lady Viking lead to two.

However, West maintained their small lead until Taft went on a 3-0 run to overtake the Lady Vikings at 11-10. West tied the score, but the Lady Wildcats scored two straight points to regain the lead at 13-11.

That was the last time the Lady Wildcats had a lead in the game. After the teams tied each at 13 and again at 14, West outscored Taft 11-4 the rest of the way to win the set.

Taft flipped the tables at the start of the second set by leaping out to an 11-3 advantage.

The Lady Vikings countered with back-to-back points to trail by six. Taft answered by building their lead up to eight before West stormed back to trail by four at 17-13.

Taft took off from there by outscoring the Lady Vikings 8-3 the rest of the way to even the match at one.

It was West’s turn to get the momentum after the Lady Vikings scored six out of the first seven points. Taft cut the lead in half, but West took off with a 14-4 run to lead 20-7. After whittling the lead down to 11, the Lady Wildcats made one last run by scoring four unanswered points thanks in part to Clarissa Rivas’ ace, to cut the West lead to 23-14.

West countered by scoring the final two points to take a two set to one lead.

West duplicated their third set run in the final set by outscoring the Lady Wildcats 7-1. Taft clawed back to trail 7-5 on Rivas’ ace, but the Lady Vikings maintained their small advantage until the Lady Wildcats evened the set at 11.
After West regained the lead, Taft tied the Lady Vikings one more time.

Following the tie, West went on a 12-6 run to win the set and match.

“Every time we had the ball in our hands we took the opportunity to score from the line,” said Furman. “We served a very tough match and that is what kept us in the game. I think overall we played a good game against a well rounded team like West.”

Rivas led Taft in kills with 8 while Haley Walrath had 6. Suzie Arnold and Makaela Davis each had 2. Rivas led in blocks with 2 while Walrath, Suzie Arnold and Chelsea Dickard led in digs with 6. Rivas led the team in assists with 12.
Taft wraps up their non-league schedule, Tuesday when they return to Bakersfield to take on Mira Monte. The match begins at 6:15 p.m.