College of the Canyons, suiting up only eight healthy players, rolled to an easy straight set win over the visiting Rams of Victor Valley College. Set scores were 25-16, 25-10, and 25-13.
Sophomore Emily Burns led the way for COC with 18 kills while Toni Bido and Colette Reynolds tallied nine apiece. Rachel Perez dished out 44 assists while Demi Dawson collected 16 digs for the Cougars.
"I thought everyone did a really good job mixing up their shots," Perez said. "I feel like we were really disciplined on defense, and that made it a lot easier for us to execute our plan."
Reynolds opened the scoring with a kill down the line and the Cougars quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set. The lead was quickly erased though as the Cougars made three consecutive hitting errors. Canyons grabbed the momentum right back as Reynolds crushed a kill through the block and Shayla Johnson followed with an ace.
But a 6-0 run behind the strong serving of Bido blew the set wide open and the Cougars never looked back, closing the set on a quick kill from Bido. Burns finished the set with five kills while chipped in Reynolds four.
The Cougars jumped out to a quick 4-0 advantage in set two as Burns collected two early kills. Although the Rams were able to trim the lead down to one, it was once again the right arm of Burns that turned the tide for the Cougars as she collected back-to-back kills. An 8-0 run on the strong serving of Perez opened an insurmountable lead for the Cougars as they rolled to an easy set win.
Set three started slow for the Cougars, but once again it was Burns who led the way as she collected three consecutive points on a kill and two aces. A quick kill from Morgan Ferguson grew the lead to four and the route was on. A Perez ace ended the match for the Cougars.
"It's really fun to watch [my hitters} get up and crush," Perez added. "All of them are so skilled and I know I can put up a set and they will put it away."
The Cougars are currently the No. 13 team in the state, and No. 8 team in Southern California, according to the most recent California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) Top-25 poll.
The Cougars improved to 9-4 on the year and will return to action Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Mt. SAC Invitational. Canyons will play two matches, first against Citrus at 12 p.m., followed by a match against Mt. SAC at 6 p.m.
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.
— Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
—Photo credit Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information