By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyon’s women’s volleyball team will host a first-round California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional Playoff match vs. San Diego Mesa College on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Cougar Cage, with the first serve scheduled for 6 p.m.
Canyons (18-8, 6-2) finished the regular season as runner-up in the Western State Conference, South Division to earn a No. 7 playoff seed.
COC won four of its final five games down the stretch and entered its final match with a chance to earn a conference co-championship, but was defeated 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 16-25, 19-25) by champion Bakersfield College in the regular season finale.
The Lady Cougars are headed to the postseason for a sixth straight season. Last year, COC advanced all the way to the CCCAA State Championship tournament before losing to eventual state champion Irvine Valley College in the semi-final round. Canyons also played in the state championship tourney in 2015.
San Diego Mesa (16-12, 9-2) finished the regular season as champions of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, its first outright conference title since 2007. The Olympians previously shared a co-championship with Grossmont College in 2013.
Despite the title run, S.D. Mesa dropped its final three regular season matches. The Olympians will enter the postseason as the No. 10 seed.
The two programs met back on Sept. 21, with Canyons defeating the host Olympians 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-18) as part of the annual S.D. Mesa Quad Tourney.
In that match, COC sophomore Shayla Johnson recorded a team-high 15 kills and three blocks, while Rachel Caruthers added 12 kills of her own, to get past the Olympians.
Canyons will enter the playoff match with a talented roster that is included among the state leaders in several key statistical categories.
Freshman middle blocker Grace Ferguson is hitting at a .466 clip to lead the state. Her 125 total blocks and 1.37 blocks per set are also the top marks in the state. Freshman libero Elizabeth Gannon leads the conference and ranks 11th in the state with 424 digs. Johnson is sixth in the WSC with 208 kills.
Meanwhile, S.D. Mesa sophomore Raven Casas is second in the state with 424 kills, while her rate of 4.51 kills per set ranks fifth.
No. 10 San Diego Mesa and No. 7 Canyons will face off at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20.
General admission tickets are $12. Students/faculty/staff (with ID) from both schools, seniors over age 60 and children under 12 are $8, as mandated by the CCCAA.
Stay up to date on all this season’s action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Top photo by Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information