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No. 12 Canyons Sees Lead Slip vs. No. 3 Bakersfield

No. 12 College of the Canyons suffered a 3-2 loss to No.3 Bakersfield College on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage. —Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information.
No. 12 College of the Canyons suffered a 3-2 loss to No.3 Bakersfield College on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage. —Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information.

By Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information

College of the Canyons came out on fire jumping out to a quick two-set lead vs. No. 3 Bakersfield College, but the No. 12 Lady Cougars were unable to finish the job as the visitors pulled out the final three sets to win a wild 3-2 decision on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage. Set scores were 25-19, 28-26, 19-25, 23-25, 8-15.

Canyons (14-6, 3-1) suffered the loss despite 18 kills and 19 digs from Shayla Johnson and 17 kills from Rachel Caruthers.

Set one saw the Cougars jump out to an early lead behind the strong serving of Georgia Sherman and Elizabeth Gannon who recorded 33 digs for the match.

COC used a balanced offense with Ricki Patenaude, Madison Martinez, and Caruthers collecting three early kills, forcing Bakersfield to call a timeout with COC holding a 15-13 lead. Caruthers continued her strong play out of the break, racking up six kills in the set, as Canyons rolled to a 25-19 first set win.

Set two was a battle from the beginning as the Renegades jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead, forcing a timeout from COC head coach Clay Timmons. The Cougars battled back behind Grace Ferguson who collected back-to-back kills and an ace. Moments later, Toni Bito collected an overpass kill and teamed with Martinez on a double block. The set stayed tight until 25-25 when a Cougars' swing, which was originally ruled out by the line judge, was overruled by the up ref to give COC the point. The Cougars closed out a 28-26 decision when the Renegades swung long.

Canyons had a chance to close things out with a sweep but played an error-riddled set from the beginning. Although COC had an early three-point lead after an ace from Sherman, three straight hitting errors evened the score quickly. This was the story of the set as the Cougars made eight hitting errors and the Renegades ran away with a 25-19 decision.

Set four saw the Renegades jump out to an early 9-4 lead before the Cougars mounted a rally. Patenaude fired an ace and Johnson collected a solo stuff block to tie the set up at 14. The freshman had two more aces later in the set, but it was not enough as the visitors pulled out a 25-23 win to take the match to a deciding fifth set.

Bakersfield opened a quick 4-0 lead in the final frame and never looked back. Caruthers and Bito combined for a double block to draw COC to within three, but the Renegades quickly responded and took an 8-2 lead into the side switch. Caruthers and Johnson collected back-to-back kills to make the score 8-4, but that was as close as the Cougars would get. Bakersfield closed out the match on a kill from Sarah Lopez, her 12th of the match. Lanie Camarillo led the visitors with 20 kills while Sarah Armendariz dished out 53 assists to go along with 13 digs. 

The Cougars return home on Wednesday, Oct. 24 to host Citrus College. First serve is 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. 

— Photo by Jacob Velarde/COC Sports Information.

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