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COC Claws No. 3 El Camino, Goes Five with No. 8 Grossmont

College of the Canyons has jumped to No. 9 in the most recent CCCWVCA statewide rankings after a week in which the Lady Cougars knocked off two top-five opponents, and lasted five sets vs. No. 8 Grossmont College. Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information
College of the Canyons has jumped to No. 9 in the most recent CCCWVCA statewide rankings after a week in which the Lady Cougars knocked off two top-five opponents, and lasted five sets vs. No. 8 Grossmont College. Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director

TORRANCE, Calif. — Two days after upsetting No. 4 state ranked Long Beach City College, the Lady Cougars were at it again, this time taking out No. 3 El Camino College during last weekend's annual ECC 3-Way.

Canyons (5-4) took down the Warriors 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-13) to begin the day, then played a tough five-set match vs. No. 8 Grossmont College, eventually falling 3-2 (23-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12) to the Griffins.

COC began the week unranked in the CCCWVCA statewide poll for the first time in recent memory. However, the wins over LBCC and ECC combined with the strong showing vs. Grossmont has vaulted the Lady Cougars to No. 9 in the state and No. 5 in Southern California according to the latest poll released on Monday.

Canyons was one of four new teams to jump into the statewide top-25 rankings this week, joining No. 20 Mt. SAC, No. 21 West Valley and No. 25 College of the Sequoias.

Canyons vs. No. 3 El Camino College

COC jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but tailed off in the third set to allow the Warriors back into the contest. 

ECC kept the momentum with a 25-20 victory in the fourth set, before Canyons was eventually able to close things out at 15-13 in the fifth.

Shayla Johnson recorded 18 kills, an ace and 12 digs to lead COC in scoring. Elizabeth Gannon had a game-high 27 digs for Canyons and freshman Grace Ferguson had another strong game, finishing up with eight kills, three aces and a combined six blocks. Sydney Higginson finished with a team-best 23 assists to go with 13 digs and an ace. 

Canyons vs. No. 8 Grossmont College

The Lady Cougs got off to another hot start taking the first set 25-23, but faltered a bit in the second frame with the Griffins able to find a 25-18 advantage and even the game at 1-1.

Canyons turned the tables in the third set at 25-19 but would get no closer, dropping a tight fourth set 25-23 then seeing the Griffins pull away at 15-12 to end the match and the day.

Ferguson led the Cougar attack with 15 kills, followed by Madison Martinez with 12 and Rachel Caruthers with 11.

Canyons recorded 10 aces in the game, led by four from Gannon and three from Ferguson. Gannon also had 22 digs in the match, while Higginson and Ciera McGuinness both finished with 24 assists.

COC will retake the court at the San Diego Mesa College Quad event on Friday. The Lady Cougars are scheduled to take on the host Olympians at 1 p.m. before squaring off vs. No. 24 MiraCosta College in the afternoon affair.

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.  

— Photo by Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information

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