Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
Taft College teams played to a win, loss and tie this week with volleyball sweeping Reedley College, men's soccer struggling to a scoreless tie with against West Hills-Lemoore, and women's soccer losing to a Southern California power.
Sophomore outside hitter Virgie Salanoa-Sagaplolu had a big night Wednesday with 15 kills, 11 digs, and a block to lead the Cougars to a 25-17, 25-15, 25-17 sweep of visiting Reedley College in a Central Valley Conference match.
The Cougar defense was especially strong, allowing the Tigers to lead only briefly in the third set. The teams met early in the season in a tournament with TC winning in five sets.
"We've improved a lot since then," said head coach Kanoe Bandy. "Reedley is a good team. We were expecting another close one."
Janell Molina paced the solid defensive effort with 18 digs, followed by Payton Spragling (14), Salanoa (11) Jasmina Clayton (5), Christina Warner (2), Rachel Nance (2), and Makanalani Cardus-Kane (2).
Spragling tossed up 29 assists and Nance, Courtnie Perry, Salanoa and Spragling each blocked a shot.
Tonight: Cougars, currently in third place in the CVC at 5-1 (7-9 overall), will host College of the Sequoias (6-0, 9-3) in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center. First serve is at 6 p.m.
Sophomore midfielder Elena Marquez (East High) scored an unassisted goal to beat the clock as the first half expired but Los Angeles Pierce (6-2-1) came away with a 4-1 non-conference victory in a match played on the Brahmas home field. Pierce led 2-1 at halftime and had 13 shots on goal compared to TC's nine. The Cougars are 2-5-2.
The men, meanwhile, played West Hills-Lemoore to a scoreless tie in Central Valley Conference match, the second conference tie a row and the fourth match in the last five matches. Statistics were unavailable.
Undefeated Fresno City College (2-0-1 CVC, 9-0-3 overall) ranked No. 3 in the state, sits atop the conference standings followed by College of the Sequoias (1-1-1, 5-4-1), Taft (0-0-2, 6-1-4), West Hills-Lemoore (0-0-2, 2-5-4), and Clovis (0-2, 4-5-2). The Cougars are ranked No. 7 in this week's state poll.