Taft goes 3-0-2 at South

The Taft varsity volleyball team kicked off their new season with a bang this past Friday and Saturday by going 3-0-2 to win the South High Tournament in Bakersfield.

“All tournament long we fought,” said Taft coach Adeana McDaniel Furman. “When we dug ourselves a hole we would find a way to fight our way out of hit and come back stronger. Very proud of the fighters I have on this team.”

Taft started out the tournament pool play without a win or a loss after tying North 26-27, 25-14.

“We played North the first game of the day and had some first game jitters but came back strong,” said Furman.

Kaylee Neher and Brooklyn Yaws each had 3 aces while Sarah Lopez led in kills with 8 while Alyssa Reeves followed with 5. Neher had 21 assists in the match while Allison Mizener led in digs with 6.

Taft bounced back against league rival Cesar Chavez by defeating the Lady Titans 25-16, 25-13.

“We were ready to roll by the time we played Chavez in our second pool game,” said Furman.

Lopez led in kills with 8 while Yaws had 5. Pulido and Reeves each followed with 5. Neher had 24 assists while Mizener, Lopez and Everson each led in digs with 23. Neher also had 7 aces.

Taft wrapped up their first day with another split after tying Foothill 21-25, 25-8.

Mizener led in aces with 4 while Katie Brown had 2. Lopez led in kills with 8 while Everson had 4. Neher had 22 assists in the match while Pulido had 2 blocks. Neher and Lopez each had 3 assists.

By finishing 1-0-2 on the day, Taft finished pool play with a fourth place seed.

Taft got their next win Saturday morning by edging out Corcoran 22-25, 25-10, 15-12.

“We struggled again against Corcoran,” said Furman. “We are just a slow starting team.”

Everson led in aces with 5 while Lopez chipped in with 4. Pulido led in kills with 9 while Lopez had 8 and Everson had 4. Neher had 30 assists while Yaws had 2 blocks. Lopez and Mizener each led in digs with 12.

By winning, the Lady Wildcats advanced to the semi finals where they outlasted Arvin 25-17, 21-25 and 17-16.

“We came out fired up against Arvin and handled them well in the first set,” said Furman. “We had a bit of an emotional letdown in the second set after we struggled with our serve receive and Arvin got the best of us."

Lopez led in kills with 8 while Everson had 5 and Neher had 4. Neher had 23 assists while Lopez led in blocks with 2. Everson led in digs with 9 while Cora Wood had 7 and Mizener had 6.

Taft wrapped up their tournament run by outlasting the No.1 seeded Highland Scots 22-25, 25-22 and 15-19.

“The first set was a back and forth match against two very even teams,” said Furman. “Highland got the best of us in the first set. After dropping the first set we struggled a little bit emotionally at first in the second. Then we called a timeout and decided we wanted the match more than they did and we never looked back.”

Lopez led in kills with 14 while Reeves had 6. Lopez also led in aces with 4 while Everson had 3. Neher led in assists with 24 while Reeves and Pulido each had 2 blocks. Mizener led in digs with11 while Lopez had 9.

Taft plays their home match Thursday when they host Golden Valley. The match begins at 6:30 p.m.