College of the Canyons volleyball achieved its first-ever playoff win under head coach Clay Timmons on Tuesday against Golden West College of Huntington Beach in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association tournament.
The Cougars rushed to a 25-7 win in the first set, which was capped by an Emily Burns kill. But the Rustlers quickly struck back.
COC (23-5) let an early lead slip away and Golden West (13-13) rattled off five points to earn a 16-12 advantage. The Cougars rallied towards the end, but eventually fell 25-21.
“I think we all just weren’t really talking to each other all that much,” said Burns, a Valencia grad. “We were kind of being quiet and not really working together.”
“…But then once we realized that we need to step it up, we came back in the end, but it was a little too late.”
Canyons took the energy garnered at the end of Set 2 and carried it into the third. The team worked their way to a 6-0 lead thanks to some Rustler errors and kept it thanks to Burns and Caroline Page’s hitting.
“I think we all sort of got a little to confident and we just didn’t play as a team (in the second set),” Page said. “So we sort of picked it up the third and fourth game.”
Golden West kept the set within two points in the fourth frame, but some key blocks by the Cougars and some more errors from the Rustlers got COC a 25-17 win. Toni Bido had the set-winning kill.
Burns finished the match with 24 kills, while Page followed with 13. Johnson had 12 kills. Defensively, Morgan Ferguson executed eight blocks and Demi Dawson went for 20 digs. Rachel Perez had 51 assists.
Canyons will take on El Camino on Saturday in the second round of the CCCAA tournament.