The impressive season turned in by the College of the Canyons volleyball team did not go unnoticed around the Western State Conference (WSC) — or the state — as sophomore standout Serena LeDuff earned All-State Team honors and her second straight conference player of the year award to headline a class of eight Cougars named to the all-conference squad. Head coach Lisa Hooper was also named WSC South Coach of the Year for a second straight year.
LeDuff, the 2013 WSC co-conference layer of the year, remained a pivotal piece of the Cougar attack in 2014. The sophomore tri-captain played in all 25 games for the Cougars, appearing in 87 of 90 sets, while leading the team in kills (343), points (389), service aces (39), total attacks (918), kills per set (3.94) and points per set (4.5) from the outside hitter position.
She also ranked second on the team with 304 digs, while her 343 kills were also ranked 11th in the state.
“Serena has been an absolute pleasure to work with during her entire career at College of the Canyons,” said Hooper. “Her work ethic and discipline are the key reasons she is one of the most decorated volleyball players in COC history. But to be certain, her teammates have been equally outstanding this season.”
Hooper also takes home Coach of the Year honors for a second straight season, after guiding the Cougars to a 21-4 record, winning a school record 17 straight games and earning a trip to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) SoCal Regionals.
Hooper will split the conference’s top coaching award — her fourth overall — with Santa Monica College head coach Nicole Ryan in 2014.
Joining LeDuff as First Team All-Conference selections were fellow sophomore tri-captains Kaitlyn Reiner (middle blocker) and Keirstyn Anderson (libero), and sophomore setter Taylor Kasha.
Reiner tallied 156 kills and 71 digs on the season, to go along with 24 service aces and 60 total blocks over 24 matches. Anderson also had a strong season, leading the team with 361 digs for an average of 4.25 per set. Kasha led the team with 474 assists, while also checking in with 21 service aces and 94 digs.
Sophomore Lauren Underwood and freshman Brooke Garelick were both named Second Team All-Conference. Garelick posted 217 kills and 261 digs on the season, ranking second and third respectively in those categories. Underwood was also a top scorer for the Cougars in 2014, registering 220 points on 175 kills, 68 digs, 33 aces and 23 total blocks.
Freshman middle blocker Erica Magee and freshman setter Katie Rutecki each earned Honorable Mention designation. Magee ranked fifth on the team with 107 kills and 40 total blocks, while Rutecki’s 450 assists and 9.18 assists per set both ranked second on the team.
“This sophomore class has been among the best of my career,” Hooper said. “But the freshman on this team pushed them every single day — resulting in three freshman earning all-conference honors.
“As a coach, to have younger players earning recognition like this means that the future of COC volleyball looks really bright.”