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Canyons Wins Fourth Straight to Stay Atop WSC Standings

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director

BAKERSFIELD — College of the Canyons remained perfect in Western State Conference (WSC) play with a convincing 8-1 road victory over Bakersfield College to stay atop the conference standings.

Canyons (5-2, 4-0) is the only team in the WSC with an unblemished conference mark. The Cougars have now won four straight matches heading into next week's home contest vs. Glendale College (4-4, 3-2).

COC head coach Patty LaBat entered a new combination of starters for the third consecutive match with freshman Lexi Paunovic slotting into the No. 1 singles position for the first time this season.

Paunovic improved to 4-1 on the year with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Stephanie Mercado.

Canyons freshman Ashley Villarta won her third straight match and how sits at 3-4 in singles competition this season, primarily playing No. 1 singles. Villarta was a 6-1, 6-4 winner on Thursday from the No. 2 spot.

Sophomore Jennifer Russell won her fifth straight match and has not lost since the season opener at Orange Coast College. Her 6-2, 6-1 win came vs. Bakersfield No. 3 Hannah Purvis.

Lauren Neal posted a comeback three-set victory (4-6, 6-3, 7-6) to earn her point in the No. 4 spot. The freshman has appeared in every match this season, playing to a 4-3 singles record.

Hannah Heiber also earned a win in the No. 5 position after sitting out last weekend's match vs. Porterville College. Heiber is now 4-1 on the season.

Lexi Mirzayan completed the singles sweep for COC and improved to 2-1 on the year.

In doubles competition it was the combinations of Villarta/Paunovic and Lauren Neal/Heiber earning points for COC.

Canyons will next host Glendale at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22

Full results from Thursday's match at Bakersfield are included below:


1. Villarta/Paunovic (COC) defeats Mercado/Herndon (BC) — 8-2

2. Hannah/Russell (COC) loses to Staat/Purvis (BC) — 1-8

3. Neil/Heiber (COC) defeats Cisneros/Guadamuz (BC) — 8-4


1.  Lexi Paunovic  (COC) defeats Stephanie Mercado (BC) — 6-3, 6-0

2.  Ashley Villarta (COC) defeats Krista Staat (BC) — 6-1, 6-4

3. Jennifer Russell (COC) defeats Hannah Purvis (BC) — 6-2, 6-1

4. Lauren Neal COC) defeats Reily Herndon (BC) — 4-6, 6-3, 7-6

5. Hannah Heiber COC) defeats Tara Bashirtash (BC) — 6-2, 6-2

6. Lexi Mirzayan (COC) defeats Aleah Cisneros (BC) — 6-4, 7-5

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 TwitterInstagramFacebook and YouTube

-Photo by Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information