Canyon girls volleyball (7-12, 2-5) ended its five-game losing streak with a win at home over Castaic (1-12, 0-5).
The Cowboys won with scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-16.
Canyon has been fighting in its losing streak and has gone into fourth or match-deciding sets in four of its last six matches. The sweep of Castaic was the break the team needed to finally get back in the win column.
The Coyotes are still trying to lock down the foundation of building a winning program but some of the pillars are in place.
Castaic outside hitter Peyton Schneider hit a game-high 10 kills while setter Rylee Braxhoofden registered three aces. The team got close but it wouldn’t be enough to secure the program’s first Foothill League win.
Hitting woes by Schneider would jump-start Canyon’s lead in the first set. The Coyote outside hitter sent four balls out of bounds before registering her first kill.
The short-handed Cowboys had the boost they needed and coasted. Castaic would dig at the lead but couldn’t get in striking distance.
“We definitely had to practice a new rotation because a lot of our players are either injured or sick,” said Canyon setter Alaina Vargas. “We also mainly practiced hitting because we’re not the tallest team in league.”
In the second set, the Coyotes’ serve receive struggled. The passes weren’t great and Canyon feasted off of the lack of Coyote communication.
However, Castaic would later rally thanks to a 5-0 run with Jasmine Macnioll on the service line. Canyon took over the “struggling on serve receive duties,” and suddenly it was a tight game.
An ace by Coyotes defensive specialist Angeline Jaramillo would tie the game and Castaic would later take its first lead of the game.
Canyon dialed up better offense and started to pull away late. Consecutive aces from freshman Parys Taylor would end the second set for the Cowboys.
Castaic head coach Taylor Schubert has been looking for the right mix of players on the court, starting with the setters. Braxhoofden took all the playing time but was hammered with doubling calls from the referees. Schubert subbed her setter out in the third set.
“We’re just a little inconsistent and we’re struggling,” said Schubert. “We had a talk about being more accountable for our actions so hopefully that’ll change. We had a good chance today. I’m a little upset we didn’t pull it off.”
Braxhoofden is a natural hitter but has found the most playing time at setter, trying to help spark her team and run the offense.
It was tight early but the Cowboys’ discipline and passing pushed them to out to a big lead.
“We’re resilient,” said Canyon head coach Samantha Holcombe. “We’re down to nine players right now, which is pretty hard to deal with in a game like this.”
Castaic never gave up and even dialed up a 5-0 run down match point. Jaramillo served well throughout the run before sending the ball into the net to end the night.
Both teams passed well so it was a quiet stats night for some of the better hitters. Canyon outside hitter Layla Tejeda led the Cowboys with five kills and a plethora of digs.
The Coyotes are out of playoff contention but Canyon could still slip in for a chance at returning to the postseason. The Cowboys will need some big wins in their final stretch of the season where they’ll see just about everyone in the Foothill League.
“If everyone does their job then we’ll be successful,” said Holcombe.
Canyon was on the road Thursday for a league matchup with Golden Valley while Castaic will head to the Crescenta Valley tournament this weekend.