Taft College Cougars Women's Volleyball

About TC Volleyball   
The volleyball team, has posted an overall record of 211 wins and 86 losses in 3 of 5 game matches at Taft College since 1996.  During this period of time, the volleyball team has won 5 conference championships and in 2004, the team finished 4th in the State of California. Another of the volleyball team’s accomplishments was being awarded the 2001 Scholar Team Award by the Commission on Athletics while also winning the Central Valley Conference Championship.  The 2001 team boasts the highest team grade point average of all California community college volleyball teams in that year. 
  Cougar Volleyball Team 2013

Mapusaga Heads Cougars on All-CVC Volleyball Team
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
December 2, 2013

Not only is the Taft College sophomore one of the best hitters in the conference, she also is among the top defensive players.

While she is first in kills (293) and third in kills per set (3.49), Mapusaga also finished third in defensive digs (286) and fourth in digs per set (3.40).

"It's amazing that she is actually the leading hitter in the conference when we are a third place team and Fresno and Porterville have so many good hitters," said head coach Kanoe Bandy. "She has the highest vertical jump of any 5-5 player I've ever seen."

Mapusaga combines her talent with court smarts.

"She is a very smart hitter," Bandy said. "She learned that court awareness last year as a defensive specialist. She used that to her advantage when I switched her to outside hitter this year."

Despite her impressive numbers, Bandy said Mapusaga is likely to find it difficult to entice recruiters from four-year colleges.

"The hard part is she is going to be a tough one to place," she said.

That comes from previous experience.

Bandy has had other outside hitters that were small in stature, including All-American Adrianne Paige.

When they moved on to the next level they were converted to defensive specialists.

"That's probably what will happen with Tiffany," Bandy said.

Not surprisingly, Mapusaga made first team all-conference.

So did two of her teammates.

Maeleen Hopeau was third in the conference in blocks per set (0.78) and fourth in hitting percentage (.320) and Lani Kaiwi was the team's libero (defensive specialist) and floor leader.

Setter Kaylynn Palama made second team all-conference. She was second in the conference in assists per set (9.45).

Hopeau and Palama are freshmen.

Earning honorable mention honors was sophomore outside hitter and middle blocker Haley Walrath, who juggled volleyball and motorcycle racing. She had 50 kills, 60 digs and 27 blocks.

Cougars Fall to Reedley in Five Sets
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 11, 2013

Reedley College’s 3-2 upset win over Taft College last Friday didn’t knock the Cougars out of third place in the Central Valley Conference volleyball standings but could hurt in playoff seeding.

The Cougars may have been looking past the Tigers after sweeping them at Reedley when the teams met in the first round of CVC action.

After all, the Cougars were playing at home with five more conference wins than Reedley.

The Tigers weren’t impressed and pulled off a five-set shocker.

“Wow,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy’s, shaking her head in disbelief.

“We made some freshman mistakes, which you don’t expect this late in the season.  We definitely had some people who were off their game.”

While her team was flat, Reedley came alive.

“They came to play,” she said.  “That was the difference.”

Things started out well for the Cougars, who used an 11-0 run early in the first set to breeze to a 25-10 victory.

“After that first game I was expecting more of the same, but they came alive and we didn’t respond.  That’s certainly not what I expected.”

TC led early in game two before the Tigers tied it at 11.

  It was deadlocked five more times before Reedley went on a 5-0 run, twice effectively using the quick set, to eke out a 25-22 win, then eased away late again in the fourth set (25-23).

The Tigers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker and were leading 8-5 when the Cougars went on a 6-0 run culminated by an ace from Chelsea Wong.

Reedley came back to tie it at 11 thanks to a pair of Cougar kill attempts that went long.

Haley Walrath’s kill put TC in front, and Reedley tied it but gave the lead back on a hitting error.

That’s when outside hitter Kristen Torres had three consecutive kills to give Reedley the 15-13 win and send the Tigers into a delirious celebration.

Freshman Wong led the Cougars in attacks with 15 kills, Tiffany Mapusaga had 14, Risha Alaiasa had 12, Maeleen Hopeau 11 and Walrath 5.

For five games we sure didn’t have many kills,” Bandy said.

Libero Lani Kawaii  led the defensive effort with 21 digs, Mapusaga added 17, Alaiasa 15, Kaylynn Palama 14, Tara Kelley 13, Walrath 4, Wong 3 and Hopeau 2.

Setter Palama tossed up 48 assists.

The Cougars finish regular season play this week, traveling to Visalia Wednesday to play College of the Sequoias and hosting undefeated defending conference champion Fresno City College Friday at 6 p.m.

Taft College Netters fall to Porterville
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 4, 2013

PORTERVILLE –Porterville College’s balance once again was too much for Taft College to overcome here Friday as the Pirates swept the Cougars in a Central Valley Conference volleyball match.

It was the second time the Pirates swept TC and broke a second place tie between the two.  Porterville is ranked 7th in northern California and 16th in the state.  TC is ranked 12th in northern California.

The Cougars (7-3 CVC, 14-6 overall) will try to get back on the winning track Wednesday when they travel to Merced (3-7, 7-12).

“We were off our game a little but played better than we did the first time,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy.

“The first time we played them their offense killed us, but this time I think their defense was outstanding.  We swung a lot of balls that they dug, and we didn’t adjust to get them off balance.  We had no middle attack at all, and they exploited that.”

The scores at Porterville were 25-20, 25-19 and 25-9.

The Cougars battled in the first two sets but wilted in the third under consistently solid play from the Pirates’ big front line.

TC got off to a slow start in the first set, falling behind by 13 points (21-8) before going on 5-0 and 4-0 runs to close the gap, but the Cougars just couldn’t overcome the early deficit.

The Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 start in game two before giving up four straight points.  It was tied six times – the last one at 12-all before the Pirates edged ahead and stayed there.

TC closed it to 20-18 after libero Lani Kaiwi had a rare kill from the back row, but a service error led to a 3-0 Pirate run the Cougars couldn’t overcome.

Porterville roared out to a 14-2 lead in the third set and never looked back.

“We just didn’t show up for that one,” Bandy said, a set that set the tone for this week’s practice.

“This week we will work on what it means to fight, to be aggressive,” she said.

As expected, the numbers individually were not impressive.

Leading attacker Tiffany Mapusaga had just 8 kills although she had 34 attempts.

“That shows how well Porterville defended us,” Bandy said.

 The Cougars had just 29 kills in 98 attempts.

Maeleen Hopeau had 9 kills, Chelsea Wong 5, Haley Walrath 4, and Risha Alaiasa 3.

Mapusaga and Alaiasa each had 9 digs, Wong 8, Kaiwi and Kaylynn Palama 6 each and Walrath 4.

Cougar's Pull into Tie for 2nd in Volleyball
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 31, 2013

Taft College routed visiting West Hills College here Monday in a Central Valley Conference volleyball match to pull into a second place tie with Porterville.

That will change tonight, though, when the Cougars and Pirates meet in Porterville and try to avenge the embarrassment of being swept when the teams met in Taft on Oct. 4.

While the Cougars were sweeping West Hills 25-5, 25-10 and 25-8, the Pirates were taking perennial CVC champion Fresno City College to five sets on Wednesday before losing.  Fresno had swept the Pirates in the first round.

“We have to play a lot better this time,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy.  “We just never got going in that first one.  It’s a must-win if we are going to have a chance to finish second.  I don’t think anyone can beat Fresno.”

Winless West Hills didn’t put up much of a fight.

“They’ve had some injuries that have had such a negative effect on the team,” she said of the Falcons.

The weak effort by West Hills didn’t allow the Cougars to accomplish what they wanted as they prepare for tonight’s crucial match with Porterville.

“We were a little out of sorts,” Bandy said.  “You like to feel like you could accomplish something in a game like this.”

The best thing from the coach’s standpoint is to be able to give her bench some playing time.

Getting people in who haven’t had a lot of playing time is important, and that’s what we were able to do.

Risha Alaiasa led the Cougars in attacks with 12 kills and on defense with 12 digs.

Tiffany Mapusaga had 11 kills and four digs.

Haley Walrath had four kills, two digs and two blocks, setter Kaylynn Palama tossed up 26 assists and had seven digs, Chelsea Dickard had six digs, Chelsea Wong had three digs, a kill and a block, Sweet Vaimoui had two kills, a block and a dig, and Lani Kaiwi had two digs.

Cougar Netters Sweep Columbia
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 24, 2013

SONORA—Taft College fought off stubborn Columbia College Wednesday night for a three set victory as the Cougars opened second round action in the Central Valley Conference volleyball race.

The win kept the Cougars in third place with a 6-2 record (13-5 overall) heading into Monday night’s home match with winless West Hills College of Coalinga.  First serve in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center is 6 p.m.

TC swept the Claim Jumpers when the teams played a first-round match in Taft to open the conference season on Sept. 25.

After taking the first two games 25-20 and 25-23, Taft was in position to make it two sweeps but the Claim Jumpers scrapped back for a 25-22 win and force a fourth set.

It was another nip-and-tuck tussle but the Cougars prevailed 25-22.

Once again sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Mapusaga paced the Cougars with 17 kills, 19 digs and 3 blocks.

Freshman Chelsea Wong added 14 kills and 8 digs.

Setter Kaylynn Palama tossed up 47 assists and added 9 defensive digs.

Columbia was led by Laverne Lane with 12 kills, Broke Earline with 15 digs and Isabella Bachtelle with 5 blocks.

The loss dropped the Claim Jumpers to 3-6 in the conference and evened their overall mark at 9-9.

Coach Sees Pluses in CVC Volleyball Loss at Fresno
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 21, 2013

When you get swept in a volleyball match by scores of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-18, you’d think it was pretty much a disaster.

But veteran Taft College head coach Kanoe Bandy didn’t do any stomping or teeth gnashing at the end of last Friday’s Central Valley Conference match in Fresno.

“We played so well, but the scores don’t reflect the way we really played,” she said.  “There were so many long rallies. We played really, really well.  We passed their great hitters, but we couldn’t get around their great blockers.  They just had too many horses.”

Fresno has won the last six conference titles and, in typical fashion, has swept all seven of its CVC matches so far this season.  Taft marked the seventh and the end of the first half of conference play.

The Rams are ranked seventh in the state and third in northern California.

“The scary thing is they are better than they were last year,” Bandy said.

TC (5-2 CVC, 12-5 overall and ranked 12th in northern California) opens the second half Wednesday with a trip to Sonora to take on Columbia College, a team the Cougars swept in the first round.  The next home match is next Monday when winless West Hills comes to town.
While the Cougars did an outstanding job of digging the Ram attacks, they couldn’t figure out a way to deal with Fresno’s stable of 5-foot-10 blockers.

“We had to hit around them, and then they would just bang the ball back at you,” Bandy said.

But the way her team played defense was a plus, she said.

“We gained some confidence.”

Because the Cougars didn’t get many chances to be on the attack the kill output was sub-par.
Tiffany Mapusaga, Risha Alaiasa and Chelsea Wong all had seven each.

Mapusaga led the defensive effort with 14 kills with Haley Walrath contributing seven.
“Haley played all the way around,” Bandy said.  She usually is subbed for when she rotates to the back row.

“She did a good job.”

Maheleen Hopeau had two blocks.

Pictureforarticle10-16-13.jpgCougars Defeat COS, Remain in 2nd
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 16, 2013

Taft College got a solid team effort Wednesday night on the home floor for a 3-1 victory over College of the Sequoias that kept the Cougars in second place in the Central Valley Conference volleyball race.

The 25-22, 25-17, 24-26, 25-16 victory pushed the Cougars’ marks to 5-1 in the conference and 12-4 overall.  The Giants dipped to 3-3, 4-10.

Next up for the Cougars is perennial conference kingpin Fresno City College tonight in Fresno. 
The Rams are ranked No. 3 in northern California and No. 7 in the state.

“They’ve got a couple of dominating players,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy.

Leading the way for the Rams is sophomore outside hitter Valarie Gobby, who has 134 kills and 219 digs.  She also is solid at the serving line with 163 points and 20 aces.

And, what scares Bandy even more is that Gobby has an impressive supporting cast.

The Rams are 6-0 in the conference – all sweeps.  Eleven of their 13 wins have been sweeps.

TC sophomore Tiffany Mapusaga, a 5-foot-5 outside hitter, has solid numbers, too: 148 kills and 163 digs.

She set the pace for the Cougars in the win over Sequoias with 19 kills and 11 digs.

Risha Alaiasa contributed 12 kills, 8 digs and 2 blocks.

Setter Kaylynn Palama tossed up 41 assists and led the team with 16 digs.

Chelsea Wong had 10 kills and 14 digs and chipped in 3 blocks, Maeleen Hopeau added 7 kills and led the team with 6 blocks, Tara Kelley and Lani Kaiwi both had 7 digs, and Haley Walrath, Mapusaga and Palama all had a block apiece.
Bandy liked the overall team effort but “we missed a lot of serves and need to keep working on that.”

The Cougars seemed on the verge of a sweep after taking the first two sets, but the Giants eked out a win in the third.  They feasted on kills off of short middle sets.

“In game 3 we didn’t adjust to their short serve,” Bandy said.

COS got off to a strong start, leading through most of the first game.  The Giants were up by five at 18-13 but the Cougars kept chipping away, pulled even at 19 on a kill by Hopeau and went ahead for good on Alaiasa’s kill.  She finished off the set with an ace.

Alaiasa also was instrumental in finishing off the final set with two hard kills.

Tonight’s match in Fresno puts finishing touches on the first half of conference action.  TC travels to Sonora next Tuesday to open the second half against Columbia College.

Dig For a Cure
by Jennifer Wright
Taft Midway Driller
October 16, 2013

The Taft College Volleyball Team participated in Breast Cancer Awareness through a fundraiser at a game. The Cougars held their fundraiser on Oct 9 at in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.
The Cougars swept Merced College  25-12, 25-21, and 25-15.

The team helped raise money for the cause by selling breast cancer awareness T shirts, as well as their admission into the game was donated towards breast cancer research.

For the last 15 years, Taft College has been participating in fundraising for breast cancer research. Each year the donations are given to the nationally known Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as Critical Care for Taft’s local Soroptimist Club.

The team’s goal each year is to raise at least $1,500. Last year, in 2012, the volleyball team
raised $1,800.

Cougar Netters Host Porterville in Crucial Conference Match Tonight

by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 3, 2013

The Central Valley Conference volleyball chase is just underway, but already Taft College has a crucial hurdle to get over.

The Cougars host Porterville College tonight, the only team to beat perennial conference powerhouse Fresno in the last four years.

First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.

The Cougars are 9-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference coming off a three-set sweep of winless West Hills College Wednesday night in Coalinga.

The Pirates (6-7 overall, 1-1 CVC) are expected to come in hungry after being swept by Fresno the same night.

The Cougars breezed in the first two sets at Coalinga, winning 25-8 and 25-9 but struggled a bit in the third before finishing off the Falcons 25-21.

Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Mapusaga once again led the Cougars both offensively and defensively with 12 kills and 12 digs.  She was 12-of-20 in attacks with two errors for a .500 hitting percentage.

Freshmen Chelsea Wong and Maeleen Hopeau also were strong at the net.  Wong had 10 kills in 17 attempts with one error for a .529 percentage while Hopeau was 10-for-19 with no errors and a .526 percentage.

Hopeau also had four stuff blocks.

For the match the Cougars had 41 kills in 72 tries with four errors for a .514 percentage.

Taft High products Chelsea Dickard and Haley Walrath were second and third in digs behind Mapusaga with 6 and 4 respectively.  Walrath also contributed four kills.

Setter Kaylynn Palama tossed up 29 assists.

Cougar Netters Split Non-Conference Matches
Taft Defeats Shasta While Losing to Santa Rosa

by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 30, 2013

SANTA ROSA – Taft College split two non-conference volleyball matches against ranked teams on Friday.

The Cougars defeated northern California No. 14 Shasta in a tense five-set match, then dropped a four-set match to host Santa Rosa JC, ranked seventh in NorCal and 16th in the state.

The split gives the Cougars an 8-3 overall record as they head into Wednesday’s Central Valley Conference match against West Hills in Coalinga.

TC hosts Porterville Friday in a crucial early season CVC match scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.

Head coach Kanoe Bandy said her team was sluggish in both matches in Santa Rosa.

“Since it was a six hour drive we went up the night before, and by the time we played at 3 o’clock we were very, very lethargic,” she said.

“We did get better as the day went on, but we made too many errors.

“Against Santa Rosa we lost one game by five points and two by two points.  We had 19 hitting errors and five service errors.  If we eliminate some of those it might have been closer.”

The scores were 24-26, 20-25, 25-23 and 22-25.

The Cougars defeated Shasta 3-2: 25-21, 14-25, 20-25, 25-23 and 19-17.

Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Mapusaga set the pace for the Cougars with 33 kills, 35 defensive digs and two blocks.

Freshman Risha Alaiasa had 29 kills and 26 digs, Maeleen Hopeau 26 kills, Kaylynn Palama 22 digs and Lani Kaiwi 10 digs.

Setter Palama tossed up 91 assists over the two matches.

Haley Walrath contributed six digs.

Mapusaga ranks third among CVC players in kills with 85 and third in digs with 112 and second in aces per set.

CVC standings: Taft 1-0 (8-3 overall), Fresno 1-0 (8-3), Porterville 1-0 (6-4), Merced 1-0 (5-5), Columbia 0-1 (6-4), Reedley 0-1 (4-6), Sequoias 0-1 (1-6) and West Hills 0-1 (0-6).

TC is ranked No. 13 in northern California, Fresno is 10th in the state and 3rd in NorCal and Porterville is 24th in the state and No. 11 among NorCal teams.

Cougars Open CVC Season with Sweep
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 26, 2013

Taft College got a steady performance Wednesday to sweep Columbia College in the Central Valley Conference opener for both schools.

The win over a team that brought a 6-3 record into the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center, pushes TC’s overall record to 7-3 as the Cougars head into Friday’s non-conference doubleheader in Santa Rosa.  TC will play Shasta and Santa Rosa JC.

The scores against Columbia: 25-19, 25-19 and 25-13.

Tiffany Mapusaga typically does her damage as an outside hitter but in the third and final set it was her serving that was lethal.  With the Cougars leading 8-4, she served 10 consecutive points with an ace to turn the final set into a rout.

But overall, head coach Kanoe Bandy was not happy with the way her team served.

“We missed an awful lot of serves,” she said.

Mapusaga also had seven digs to lead the defensive effort.

Offensively, the Cougars shared the wealth.

With Mapusaga showing the way with 11 kills – several of them monster hits – Chelsea  Wong, Maeleen Hopeau and Risha Alaiasa each contributed eight and Haley Walrath had two.
TC had nine blocks, two each from Alaiasa, Hopeau, Walrath, Chelsea Wong and Kaylynn Palama one.

Wong also had seven digs, Tara Kelley six, Hopeau and Alaiasa four each.

Columbia battled the Cougars even through most of the first two sets.

The first game was tied seven times before the Cougars edged ahead for the first time at 14-13, but the Claim Jumpers tied it again at 18. 

That’s when the Cougars went on a 7-1 run to close it out.

The second set was a carbon copy.

TC pulled ahead at 19-17, then finished it with a 6-2 run.

The Claim Jumpers wilted in the third set when the Cougars ran off 13 consecutive points – a spree that began with a Walrath block.

Cougar Volleyball Opens CVC Campaign Wednesday
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 23, 2013

Taft College, off to a 6-2 start, will christen the Central Valley Conference volleyball season Wednesday when the Cougars host Columbia College of Sonora for a 5 p.m. match in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.

The Cougars tuned up for the conference lid-lifter by taking the consolation title in last Saturday’s one-day tournament at San Diego City College.

“We played O.K. but not great,” head coach Kanoe Bandy said.

The tournament format was best 2-of-3 rather than 3-of-5 so the results and statistics don’t count although several Cougars posted some impressive numbers.

TC defeated Cuyamaca 25-5, 25-9, lost to Pima (AZ) 27-25, 22-25, 7-15, lost to Chaffey 17-25, 24-26 and defeated Cuyamaca again 25-9 and Rio Hondo 25-12 in the single set consolation finals.

“We should have beaten Pima,” Bandy said.  “We were up by five points in the second set and let it slip away.”

Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Mapusaga made the all-tournament team.

“She was phenomenal,” her coach said.  “Her passing was outstanding.  Against Chaffey she had 16 perfect passes out of 21.  That’s really huge.  Our goal is to pass 50 percent on serve-receive but she hit 75 percent.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a player do that.”

Mapusaga also had 31 kills on the day and 46 defensive digs.  Nobody else came close.  Taft High product Tara Kelley had 29 digs and Chelsea Wong 20.

“Tara played right side defense and did a great job,” Bandy said.  “She passed so many balls.”
Sophomore defensive specialist Lani Kaiwi had a good day from the serving line.

“She was 65-for-65, scored 53 points and had 15 aces.  That was phenomenal.”

While the Cougars are the early pace-setter in non-conference play, Columbia also is off to a good start.  The Claimjumpers are 6-3.

Defending champion Fresno also is 6-3, Merced, Porterville and Reedley are all 4-4, Sequoias is at 1-5 and West Hills 0-5.

After hosting Columbia the Cougars will travel to Santa Rosa on Friday to play Shasta and host SRJC in a pair of non-conference matches before returning to CVC action for the remainder of the season

Cougars Volleyball Team Wins
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 19, 2013

Taft College swept Cerro Coso and Allan Hancock colleges Wednesday night in a pair of non-conference volleyball matches held at Hancock.

The twin sweeps pushed the Cougars to 6-2 on the season heading into Saturday’s tournament at San Diego City College.

TC will christen Central Valley Conference action at home next Wednesday night by hosting Columbia College of Sonora in a 5 p.m. match in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.

In the two matches in Santa Maria the Cougars were led by sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Mapusaga (19 kills and 29 digs), freshman middle Maeleen Hopeau (18 kills and two blocks) and freshman outside hitter Risha Alaiasa (17 kills).

The Cougars beat Cerro Coso 25-10, 25-14, 25-15 and Hancock 25-18, 25-13, 26-24.

Cougars Split Opening Volleyball Matches
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 9, 2013

Taft  —  Taft College split its season opening volleyball matches Friday when De Anza and San Joaquin Delta colleges came to town for a round-robin mini-tournament.

The Cougars beat De Anza in five sets but was swept by Delta, a perennial state powerhouse. Delta also made quick work of sweeping De Anza.

In the win over De Anza, the young Cougars were a Jekyll and Hyde team, winning sets one and three, looking sloppy in losing the second and four sets and then playing exceptionally well to win the tie-breaker.

The scores were 25-11, 24-26, 25-12, 21-25 and 15-5.

The Cougars raced out to an 8-0 lead in the opening set of the season with solid play at the net and a half dozen De Anza miscues.

De Anza ran off three points on a net serve, hitting error and a kill by Mishel Deemer, but the Cougars responded by continuing to build the cushion.

Newcomers Chelsea Wong and Maeleen Hopeau showed promise with their net play on both offense and defense.

Set two was different.

The Dons got off to a good start before the Cougars caught up at 9-all. It seesawed back and forth with eight more ties and six lead changes.

Momentum went back to the Cougars in set three as Taft led all the way and appeared to be on cruise control.

Set four was a mirror of the second with the teams trading early leads before the Dons went on a 9-2 run to put the Cougars on their heels.

TC pulled to within a point at 16-17 before the Dons scored six unanswered points and held on for the four-point win and tie the match at two games apiece.

Taft took control in the first-to-15 fifth set and led from the start, pulling away with a four-point spurt that put the Cougars up 9-3.

Against Delta the Cougars played even with Mustangs but rarely got the lead, losing the first set 25-20.
In the second Delta took the lead early but the Cougars rallied and took the lead at 19-18, pushing it to 22-19 before the Mustangs regained the lead. TC stayed close but could not catch up in the waning moments.

TC led the third game just twice – 3-2 and 4-3 – before the taller Mustangs took control and cruised to a 25-18 win.

Statistics were unavailable.

The Cougars will travel to Stockton this weekend for a tournament.

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Two Cougars Sign Volleyball Letters of Intent
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
Weekend Edition - May 10-13, 2013

Two members of last fall’s Taft College volleyball team have signed letters of intent to continue their collegiate careers at the university level.
Sophomores Chanel Cantere and Sina Mauga recently agreed to move to colder climes to finish their college careers in volleyball and academics, but relocating where it snows was attractive to both.

Cantere, a 5-foot-7 outside hitter, is headed to NAIA-affiliated University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima while Sina Mauga, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, will transfer to Div. II New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M.

Both players were All-Central Valley Conference selections as they helped lead the Cougars into the state playoffs.

Mauga was third in the state in blocks with 87 or 1.38 per game.  Cantere ranked 10th in the state in kills, averaging 4.22 per game.

“I think they’re both going to be happy with their choices,” said their head coach Kanoe Bandy.  “I’m happy for both of them.  Those are both good schools.”
She applauded their decision to go out of state, although Cantere initially wanted to stay in California.

“Sometimes in life we never get to have experiences like they are going to have,” Bandy said.  “What a great opportunity for them to have some memorable life experiences.”

In both Lima and Las Vegas they will get to experience snow.

In fact, they already have.  When they made their recruiting trips in January there was snow on the ground in both cities. 
They never got to experience that in Taft or their hometowns in Hawaii.

“I’ve never been in that kind of environment and I wasn’t dressed for that kind of weather,” Cantere said after her winter break trip to Lima.
Despite getting cold feet – literally – she liked the place.

“It’s a private university and everyone was so nice.  I like the fact they have small classes like we have here at Taft.  I think I learn better in that type of environment.  I like to have that contact with my teachers.”

Cantere got to work out with the Lady Racers, who were 32-6 last season and have a new head coach.

“They gave me a hard time at first, but once they saw me play they welcomed me,” she said. 

She’s a business major and UNOH has a highly regarded business school.

“Their business school is the second biggest department on campus.  I’m excited.”

Mauga also is pleased with her choice.

“They offered me a lot of money, so I’m going to take the money and run,” she said with a wide grin. 

She also will be playing for a new coach.  Bryan Crawford was hired last year to resurrect a program that finished 6-23 last season.  NMHU is hoping he can do the same thing for the Cowgirls program that he did at Iowa Central where his team was 44-6 and he was conference coach of the year.

Like Cantere, she likes the idea of attending a university that boasts small class size. 

“I actually prefer smaller classes,” she said.

Smaller classes will remind her of her two years in Taft.

“I’m really going to miss it (TC).  I wish it was a four-year college.  I’ve really enjoyed my experience here.”

Mauga is majoring in social work but finds the highly acclaimed New Mexico Highlands law school intriguing.

“The university is actually a law school,” she said.  “I may change my major to law.”

Both Cantere and Mauga will receive Associate Degrees from Taft College this month before saying goodbye and embarking on a new chapter in their lives.