No. 10 Canyons Downs No. 7 Santa Ana 3-0, Advances to Next Round
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
SANTA ANA — No. 10 College of the Canyons took care of business on the road at No. 7 Santa Ana College on Tuesday, earning a 3-0 postseason victory to advance in the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs. Set scores were 25-20, 25-20, 25-21.
Canyons (19-8) has now won 14 of its last 15 matches down the stretch. The Cougars stand one win away from a repeat trip the CCCAA State Championship Tournament. COC last played at the state tourney in 2021 having also appeared in 2017, 2015 and 2007.
Led by All-American sophomore Aly Grodell and All-Western State Conference (WSC) freshman Kaelyn White the Cougars hits .333 for the match with 45 combined kills. White and Grodell shared the team lead with 13 kills each and sophomore Brianna Botello was next at eight.
Santa Ana (18-6) was playing in the postseason for the first time since 1983 after having set a program record with 18 wins.
COC's road record moves to 9-4 on the year after the victory over Santa Ana. The 19 wins for COC is the most for the Cougars since the 2017 season (25).
- Brianna Botello — 3 SP, 8 K, BA, 4 digs, .353
- Aly Grodell — 3 SP, 13 K, BA, 2 digs .765
- Jordan Nunez — 3 SP, 4 K, 29 A, 2 SA, BA, 6 digs
- Abby Sherman — 3 SP, 11 digs
- Sabrina Sveiven — 3 SP, 2 A, SA, 14 digs
- Kaelyn White — 3 SP, 13 K, 3 SA, 2 BS, BA, 4 digs, .370
No. 10 Canyons advances to face No. 2 Irvine Valley College (20-4) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 with a trip to the 2022 CCCAA State Championship Tournament up for grabs. This year's state championship event will be hosted by Fresno City College Dec. 2-4.
Irvine Valley defeated No. 15 Bakersfield (14-10) by a 3-1 (25-17, 25-17, 20-25, 25-20) final score. The win was the 11th straight for the Lasers.
COC and IVC last met in the 2022 season opener on Aug. 26 with the Lasers taking a 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-20) victory. However, the two programs share a long and storied history.
Canyons and Irvine Valley have met 11 times over the past 10 seasons including twice in the postseason (2014, 2017). The Lasers hold a 9-2 advantage over that span.
In 2017, IVC defeated Canyons in a heartbreaking 3-2 (19-25, 25-13, 26-28, 25-23, 14-16) final score during the semi-final round of the CCCAA State Championship Tournament. The Lasers went on to win the 2017 state championship.
Irvine Valley also defeated COC in the second round of the 2014 CCCAA Southern California Regionals before also winning a state title in that season.
Canyons picked up back-to-back regular season victories over IVC in 2015 and 2016. The early-season victory in 2015 occurred in the same year the Cougars won a program record 26 matches and competed as hosts at the CCCAA State Championship tournament.
In 2007, Canyons upset No. 1 state ranked Irvine Valley College in the second round of the Southern California Regionals to advance to the CCCAA State Championship tournament for the first time in program history.
—Photo by Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information