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Canyons Returns to the Cougar Cage, Can't Get Past IVC

College of the Canyons women's volleyball's season-opener vs. Irvine Valley College on Aug. 27, was the first home match in the Cougar Cage since COC hosted San Diego Mesa College in the opening round of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs on Nov. 20, 2018. —Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information
College of the Canyons women's volleyball's season-opener vs. Irvine Valley College on Aug. 27, was the first home match in the Cougar Cage since COC hosted San Diego Mesa College in the opening round of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs on Nov. 20, 2018. —Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

College of the Canyons women's volleyball played on its home court for the first time in nearly three years on Friday, as the Cougars rounded out a busy first day in the return of athletic competition to campus. 

Friday's season-opener vs. Irvine Valley College was the first home match in the Cougar Cage since COC hosted San Diego Mesa College in the opening round of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs on Nov. 20, 2018.

In 2019, Canyons played its entire home schedule at nearby The Master's University due to ongoing renovations at the Cougar Cage. The 2020 season was then lost to cancellation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COC head coach Clay Timmons and his squad pulled a tough first opponent in IVC, a program, like Canyons, which consistently ranks among the best in the state.

The Lasers (1-0) were able to top Canyons (0-1) by a 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17) final score in a match that officially launched the 2021 campaign.

Freshman Indiah Lewis led the way for Canyons with 11 kills in the middle, and also assisted on two blocks.

Sophomore middle blocker Breanna Kelley, a member of the 2019 team, was next in line with six kills. Brianna Botello and Jacqueline Ibarra each recorded five kills from the outside.

Damani Harvey and Caitlin Liebe each checked in with four kills, with Liebe also getting to the net for two assisted blocks.

Abby Sherman did her damage with five aces and also recorded a team-high 14 digs. Sabrina Sveiven finished with three aces of her own and eight digs from the libero position.

Katlyn Stadtlander helped set the pace with 20 assists and an ace, and Cecillia Giovannini added 14 more assists during her time on the floor.

Those totals, however, were slow to develop as the Lasers took the first two sets before Canyons battled back for a hard-fought 26-24 advantage that pushed the game into a fourth frame.

IVC had two players record double-digit kill totals in Jayli Nealy and Jaclyn Sanchez, for an attack that proved too much for the Cougars to overcome.

Friday's game was live streamed to fans via the Cougars Sports Network for the first time in program history. Throughout the 2021 season fans will be able to view Cougars women's volleyball home games via the COC Athletics YouTube Page

Fans can also access the stream by visiting COCathletics.com and clicking the "Watch LIVE" button the women's volleyball team page. Live Stream links will also be posted to the @COCathletics social media accounts (Twiiter, Instagram, Facebook) on home game days.

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.