Falcons Finish Strong, Sweep Taft

Falcons Finish Strong, Sweep Taft

For the second straight Central Valley Conference match, West Hills College Coalinga took a 2-0 lead on its home floor.

This time, the Falcons finished the job - winning in three sets (25-13, 25-19, 25-21) against Taft College on Friday night.

"Our goal was to finish strong tonight and we did," said WHCC head coach Jeff Wanderer.

"The team had a renewed focus, played more freely and stayed in each moment. It was great to see us learn from previous mistakes and achieve better results."

On Wednesday night against first-place Merced, the Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but couldn't close the door - eventually losing in five games.

But on Friday, WHCC took control early, and despite falling behind 16-12 in the second game, rallied behind freshmen outside hitters Andrea Lopez and Mia Bouttavong.

Lopez, who ranks fourth in CVC kills, led the team with 16 against the Cougars - and tied with a team-high 14 digs. Her hitting percentage of .263 was a career high.

Bouttavong also had her best hitting percentage (.367) and her most kills (15) in her rookie season. She added 10 digs and three aces.

"Andrea has been locked-in lately, performing at a very high level," said Wanderer.

"Mia had her best all-around match tonight. It was great to see her reach that potential."

Sophomore setter Taylor Ramos (20 assists) and freshman setter Isabella Galang (17 assists, 5 aces) paced the Falcons, as the team recorded their best hitting night (.224) of the CVC season.

Freshman libero Emilee Degunya tied Lopez for a team-high 14 digs. Degunya entered the match with the second most digs in the CVC.

Overall, WHCC recorded 37 kills and 10 aces.

The Falcons improved to 2-4 in the CVC, while Taft dropped to 3-3.

UP NEXT: WHCC will travel to Cerro Coso (5-1) on Wednesday, before returning home on Friday against Reedley (1-4).


- Photo by Brenden Lusk