COC volleyball continues to avoid complacency with win over Antelope Valley

Rachel Perez (25) and Morgan Ferguson (2) jump to block the volleyball during a home game against Antelope Valley College on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Entering the 2017 season, College of the Canyons women’s volleyball’s biggest enemy wasn’t a team or a player. Its biggest enemy was, rather, an idea.

“Complacency was something we wanted to stay away from,” said coach Clay Timmons. “As coaching staff, we don’t want to see any complacency or ‘okay, we’re good enough now and this is just all we have to do.’”

The Cougars have steered clear of complacency this year, most recently with a sweep of Antelope Valley College (25-15, 25-14, 25-14) at home on Wednesday.

The win makes COC undefeated in Western State Conference, South play and also puts the team on an 11-match win streak overall. Out of those 11 wins, eight of them have been sweeps.

“I really liked the way we didn’t get rattled or flustered and we kind of had a game plan and went through the game plan from start to finish,” Timmons said of his team’s strongest ability against Antelope Valley (4-11, 2-4 in WSC South).

Demi Dawson (26) hits the volleyball during a home game against Antelope Valley College on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

He also added that Canyons (19-4, 6-0) has experienced growth and developed depth across the roster throughout the season.

In Wednesday’s match, Valencia alum Emily Burns led COC with 19 kills and was followed by Caroline Page and Shayla Johnson, who had seven kills. Page also had a team-high 11 digs.

MORE: Valencia products key in COC volleyball win over L.A. Mission

Burns is a consistent standout, bringing offensive fire in

every match. Page, and Johnson, both freshman outside hitters, have made strides of their own.

“Shayla Johnson has really started to kind of come into her own and figure out her athleticism and be able to do some really nice things with it,” said Timmons.

“And also Caroline Page, another freshman outside hitter, she’s really started to figure out how to be an outside hitter and not just a defender.”

Rachel Perez, another Valencia alum has been a steady contributor this season as a setter. Against Antelope Valley, she had 36 assists.

The Cougars have just two games left in the conference season, and they’re hoping to keep the momentum and team development rolling heading into the postseason.

“We’ve been working hard in practice to challenge them and push the envelope of what we can be doing offensively and stuff like that, so we can continue to get a little bit better and stay a step ahead of our opponents if possible,” Timmons said

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