Taft College wins in four sets over Reedley

Taft College overcame a disastrous second set to reclaim momentum and defeat Reedley College in a four-set Central Valley Conference volleyball match Wednesday night in the Cougar Sports Center.

After winning the first set 25-22, the Cougars were unable to handle Reedley’s short set and blocking that led to a 25-8 Tiger victory and a huge momentum shift.

TC overcame those shortcomings to win the third set 25-20 and snatch back the momentum.

“I think they (Reedley) lost their confidence when we came back in game three,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy.

The Cougars used the momentum shift to close out the match with a 25-18 third set win and improve to 2-0 in the conference and 6-3 overall heading into this afternoon’s 3 o’clock home CVC skirmish with West Hills College.

The difference in the third set, Bandy said, was a change in hitting strategy.

“We couldn’t handle Reedley’s blocking in the second game, so I told our players to just hit into the block,” she said.  “Once we started hitting into blocks the balls started to fall.”

The Cougars also responded to the effectiveness of the Tigers’ short-sets.

Taft High product Morgan Blair again led the way with 13 kills and 16 defensive digs.

“She really kept us moving along,” Bandy said.  “She reads the hitters very well.”

Tina Pulu contributed 12 kills, Brittany Peterson seven, Janine Orosco six, Kelcey Viliamu four and Michelle Hardy two.
Hardy and Nicole Gummersall were effective in the back as well with 15 and 14 digs respectively.  Pulu had seven, Mele Yama four and Orosco three.

Peterson and Orosco shared the team lead in blocks with four apiece while Hardy had two and Pulu and Viliamu one each.

Bandy was a bit disappointed with her team at the serving line.

“We served pretty well, but hardly had any aces,” she said.  “That’s uncharacteristic for us.”

Yama posted the best numbers with 11-for-12 for nine points and three aces, the only aces of the night.

Hardy was 15-for-15 for eight points, Pulu 14-for-14 for seven, Blair 12-for-15 for seven, and Viliamu 8-for-9 for five points.

After today’s West Hills match, the Cougars will head for Rocklin where they will play both Shasta and Sierra colleges on Saturday in a pair of non-conference matches.