Hooper Gets 300th Win, Canyons Takes WSC Opener
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons posted its first conference victory by taking a 3-1 home result over visiting Glendale College on Wednesday in co-head coach Lisa Hooper's 300th career victory with the program. Set scores were 25-24, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21.
Canyons (5-7, 1-0) snapped a two-game losing streak that came during the annual Western State Conference (WSC) crossover event by jumping all over Glendale (5-9, 0-1), the first WSC, South division opponent it has seen.
COC improved to 2-3 at the Cougar Cage in a match that saw sophomore Kyla Dothard register a team-high 11 kills to lead the way.
Leah Gillie and Kamia Benjamin both enjoyed hot streaks during the match to post seven kills apiece. Benjamin also added a blocked shot and three block assists while hitting .308 for the match. Gillie added three aces and a pair of block assists to help keep the Vaqueros at bay.
Aside from the opening set, Glendale managed to keep things close, even prolonging things with a 25-19 win in the third set. The Vaqueros continued to hold the momentum early in the fourth frame, and were the first to 20, until Canyons eventually closed things out and brought the Cougars onto the court in celebration.
Golphenee was also effective from the service line with a team-best five aces. Canyons had six players record aces combining for 17 on the might. Jaylyn Zavala was one of those players, adding three aces to her team-high 18 assists. Sutton Thompson chipped in with 13 assists, seven digs and an ace.
For Hooper, the milestone victory comes in her 21st season in a head coach role with the program. She originally led the program from 1998 to 2015, before returning to share co-head coaching duties with Clay Timmons beginning in 2022
Hooper entered the 2023 season just five wins away from 300, with a 295-161 overall record alongside six Western State Conference (WSC) championships and state championship tournament appearances in 2007, 2015 and 2022. She is a six-time WSC Coach of the Year honoree, having taken home the award in each of her conference championship seasons (1999, 2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2022).
Canyons next plays Friday, Sept. 29 at Bakersfield College with a 6 p.m. first serve. COC then returns to the Cougar Cage on Wednesday, Oct. 4 for another conference match vs. Santa Monica College at 6 p.m.
—Photo by Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information