TC volleyball drops 2 matches to Bakersfield

Taft College
Taft College libero Janae Niutupuvaha reaches for a serve against Bakersfield College last week

A midseason slide continued for the Taft College women's volleyball team as the Cougars suffered consecutive losses to interdivision rival Bakersfield College. At BC on Thursday, the Renegades defeated the Cougars 25-19, 25-19, 25-19. The quick two-match series concluded on Friday in Taft with Bakersfield taking the contest 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-20) as well.

After winning its first three matches of the season, Taft has now dropped three straight and is 3-3 overall.

Errors hurt the Cougars in Thursday's loss. TC committed 21 attack errors and hit just .087 for the match. Freshman Jada Dias led the offense with 9 kills and added 13 digs and 2 aces.

Freshman setter Kayla Iwata totaled 21 assists, 11 digs, and 4 aces while sophomore Janae Niutupuvaha led the Cougars with 16 digs.

Taft came back focused on Friday, committing just six hitting errors. But BC's offense slammed down 52 kills to overwhelm the Cougars on its way to the Renegade win.

Freshman Kaimana Botelho-Patoc led TC with 7 kills while Dias (15 digs) and freshman Abby Alvaro-Thomas (7 digs) both had 6 kills each.

Iwata served up a match-best 5 aces to go with 18 assists, 12 digs, and a pair of kills. Sophomore Abygail Olejnik totaled 4 kills, 11 digs, and a solo block while Niutupuvaha had a team-high 22 digs. Freshman Serenity Feleti played well at the net with 6 total blocks (2 solo).

Taft returns to action next week when it begins a two-match series with former Central Valley Conference foe Cerro Coso College. The Cougars host Cerro Coso on Thursday at 3 p.m. and travel to Ridgecrest for a 5 p.m. on Friday (Mar. 26). Thursday's home contest can be viewed live online at www.team1sports.com/TaftCA/.