College of the Canyons’ women’s volleyball team opened Western State Conference play in style, as the Cougars swept visiting West L.A. College in straight sets. Set scores were 25-13, 25-13, and 25-14.
COC freshman setter Ciera McGuinnes, starting in place of injured Rachel Perez, filled in admirably, dishing out 30 assists while leading a well-balanced offense to a .603 hitting percentage Wednesday night.
McGuinness also collected seven digs, four kills, and two aces. Emily Burns led the offense with 10 kills, while Caroline Page and Shayla Johnson chipped in six kills apiece. Libero Demi Dawson collected seven digs to go along with a match-high five service aces.
The Cougars (14-4, 1-0), currently ranked 11th in the most recent state poll, served up 17 aces in the match.
Canyons opened the match on a 5-0 run behind strong serving from McGuinnes. However, the lead was quickly erased by a 5-0 run by the Wildcats. A double block by Morgan Ferguson and Page finally stopped the run, and helped propel the Cougars to another 5-1 run.
But the Wildcats were able to keep it close until Page stepped back to serve. Eight serves later (with two aces included) and the lead had swelled to 10, forcing a timeout from West L.A. The timeout only briefly stopped the momentum as Dawson served up an ace and Johnson crushed an overpass to end the set. Burns finished the first set with six kills.
The Cougars started off strong in set two as well, opening up a quick 5-1 lead. The set quickly turned into a route as Toni Bido collected back-to-back kills, and combined with Johnson for five aces. In total, four Cougars collected two kills apiece in the set, with Johnson, Page, Bido, and Collete Reynolds sharing the honors. Canyons ripped nine aces in the set.
Set three was hard fought early on as the Cougars were unable to find much separation until Dawson stepped back to serve. She drilled two aces as COC went on a 6-0 run. The highlight of the set came on a solo stuff block from McGuinness. Mykhala Stillings closed out the match for the Cougars with a huge kill from the outside.
Here’s the box score.
The Cougars returned to action on Friday, Oct. 13, when they hit the road to face Western State Conference foe Antelope Valley College. Stay tuned for coverage.