Taft College Cougars Women's Volleyball

About TC Volleyball   

The volleyball team, has posted an overall record of 270 wins and 122 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.

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Wong's 17 Kills Leads Cougar Sweep of Merced
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 12, 2014

Chelsea Wong had 17 kills to pace Taft College’s Central Valley volleyball sweep of visiting Merced College Wednesday night in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.

It was sophomore night with all six of the Cougars’ second-year players seeing maximum playing time.

“All of our sophomores were on the court when we finished the match and you seldom get a chance to do that,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy, whose team wraps up its season tonight with a visit to second place Reedley.  The Cougars took the Tigers (10-3 CVC, 17-5 overall) to five sets before losing when the teams met in Taft in the first round of conference play.

“All of our sophomores played well tonight,” Bandy said after the match concluded with the team’s traditional Hawaiian candy leis and flowers for those who are ending their TC volleyball careers.

It’s always a bittersweet celebration for Bandy, the former Kanoe Pearl from Hawaii who played volleyball and softball at TC before returning to coach, teach and serve as athletic director since 1994.

The players also showered their coach with floral affection.

As the players were introduced, the freshmen presented bouquets to the sophomores.

The scores were 25-20, 25-12, 25-11.

Set one was close in the early going before the Cougars took control of the match.  They steadily pulled away but had a hiccup while leading 21-11 when the Blue Devils went on a 7-1 run to get within four before TC finished it with a laser kill from Wong.

The Cougars breezed in the second set after getting off to a 4-0 jump and never looking back.

Merced jumped out to a 3-0 lead to open the third set before the Cougars edged ahead and then put some distance with a 6-0 run that made it 12-4.  TC’s biggest lead was 22-9.

Sophomore outside hitter Maeleen Hopeau had 12 kills, Sweet Viamoui added six, Nalani Kekuawela five and Baillee Jensen one.

Defensively, freshman libero Halle Neher led the way with 14 digs followed by Kamalani Kahele with 11, Kaylynn Palama with nine, Tara Kelley seven, Wong with five and Hopeau three.

Hopeau had a solid night at the net with seven blocked shots.  Palama had three, Wong two and Jensen and Kekuawela one each.

Serving was another strong element for the Cougars.

“Kay and Nalani served really well tonight,” Bandy said.

Palama, who had 35 assists from her server position, went 17-of-17 from the service line for 11 points and two aces while Kekuawela was 20-of-21 for 16 points and three aces.

With the win the Cougars remained in a fourth place tie in the conference with College of the Sequoias, both with 7-6 records.

CVC Standings:
Fresno 13-0 (20-5)
Reedley 10-3 (17-5)
Porterville 8-5 (15-9)
Taft 7-6 (11-15)
COS 7-6 (10-8)
Merced 4-9 (8-14)
Columbia 3-10 (6-16)
W. Hills 0-13 (0-20)

Cougars Sweep Winless West Hills in Volleyball
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 7, 2014

COALINGA – Sophomore Chelsea Wong’s balanced effort of 10 kills and 10 digs here Friday helped Taft College to a sweep of hapless West Hills College in a Central Valley Conference volleyball game.

The scores were 25-13, 25-9 and 25-13.  West Hills has yet to win a game in 19 tries.

Sixteen was the number for the team’s leaders in kills and digs.

Maeleen Hopeheau went 16-of-26 with one error to lead the Cougars in attacks and Kamalani Kahele contributed 16 digs from the back row.

The win gives the Cougars a 6-6 conference record, tied for fourth with the surging College of the Sequoias Giants. COS upset Porterville College on Friday.  TC is 10-15 overall. 

Defending champion Fresno continues to dominate the conference with a 12-0 record (19-5) overall as the regular season winds down.

The Cougars will play their final home match tomorrow when Merced College (4-8, 8-13) comes to the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.  First serve is at 6 p.m.  TC will close out the season on the road two days later at Reedley College.

At Coalinga on Friday Nalani Kekuawela added seven kills for the Cougars and one dig, Sweet Viamoui had four kills and setter Kaylynn Palama two to go with her 29 assists and eight digs.

Madaline Griffith had nine digs, Tara Kelley seven and Kekuawela one.

CVC Standings:
Fresno 12-0 (19-5)
Reedley 9-3 (15-5)
Porterville 8-4 (15-8)
Taft 6-6 (10-15)
COS 6-6 (9-8)
Merced 4-8 (8-13)
Columbia 3-9 (6-15)
W.H. 0-12 (0-19)

Cougars Volleyball Team Winds Down Season
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 6, 2014

Taft College is winding down its up and down volleyball season.

Friday night the Cougars will try to shake off Monday’s sweep at Central Valley Conference leader Fresno City College with a trip to Coalinga to take on winless West Hills College.

TC will host Merced next Wednesday at 6 p.m. and then wrap up the season Nov. 14 with a trip to Reedley.

In Fresno the Rams, undefeated in conference play at 11-0 (18-5 overall) dispatched the Cougars by scores of 25-16, 25-19 and 25-15 behind the solid play of outside hitters
Katie Lowe and Malerie Crenshaw, who had 10 kills apiece.

For the Cougars Chelsea Wong was the leading hitter with nine kills followed by Maeleen Hopeau with seven.  Hikialani Kaaihue and Sweet Viamoui had once each.

Defensively, freshman libero Halle Neher led the Cougars with 19 digs.

Kaylynn Palama had 14 digs and 15 assists and Wong contributed 11 digs.  Tara Kelley and Kaaihue had five each, Kamalani Kahele and Hopeau three and Nalani Kekuawela and Viamoui one each.

CVC Standings:
Fresno 11-0 (18-5)
Reedley 9-2 (16-4)
Porterville 8-3 (15-7)
Taft 5-6 (9-15)
Merced 5-6 (8-12)
Columbia 2-9 (5-15)
West Hills 0-11 (0-18)

COS Uses Attack Power to Defeat Cougars in Volleyball
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 31, 2014

VISALIA – College of the Sequoias used a trio of outside hitters to avenge an earlier loss to Taft College in a Central Valley Conference volleyball match here Friday.

The Giants outhit the Cougars 57-36 to run away with a four-set victory by scores of 27-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-17.

When the teams met in Taft in the first round of conference play it was the Cougars who prevailed in four sets.

Tiffany Diaz (18), Jamie Ruble (15) and Darlan Jimenez (14) accounted for 47 of Sequoias’ kills.  Setter Taylor Meyer played a key role with 46 assists.

COS also had a big night on defense with 91 digs led by Allison Cutler’s 30.

Offensively, the Cougars’ best was 11 kills from Chelsea Wong.  Maeleen Hopeau and Sweet Viamoui had nine apiece, Nalani Kekuawela six and Baillie Jensen one.

Halle Neher led the Cougar defensive effort with 13 digs, Hopeau had 12, Kaylynn Palama eight, Kamalani Kahele, Madeline Griffith and Kekuawela five each, and Vaimoui two.

Palama (20 assists) split setter duties with Griffith (9).
The Cougars managed just three blocks (Vaimoui 2 and Palama 1) while the Giants had nine.

Despite the win, the Giants still trail the Cougars in CVC standings.  TC is 5-5 (9-14 overall) while Sequoias is 4-6 (7-8).

The Cougars will be in Coalinga Friday to play West Hills and will host Merced Nov. 12.

CVC Standings: Fresno 10-0 (17-5 overall), Reedley 8-2 (15-4), Porterville 7-3 (14-7), Taft 5-5 (9-14), Sequoias 4-6 (7-8), Merced 4-6 (8-11), Columbia 2-8 (5-14), West Hills 0-10 (0-17).

Porterville Feasts on Cougar Volleyball Miscues
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 22, 2014

Taft College was sharp in winning the first set of Wednesday’s Central Valley Conference volleyball match against visiting Porterville College.

Scoring the last five points for a 25-19 victory the Cougars were unable to carry that momentum into the second set.

Plagued by mistakes on offense and defense, the Cougars gradually let things slip away in set two as the Pirates finished it off with a 7-0 run and a 25-13 win.

TC battled back in the third set, staying close until the Pirates used a pair of 4-0 runs for a 25-17 decision.

The fourth was close with the Cougars trailing 10-11 before Porterville took advantage of a string of errors to go on an 8-0 run that fueled a 25-17 finisher.

“We made so many mistakes,” said coach Kanoe Bandy.

It showed in the numbers.

The Cougars had 27 kills and 22 errors.

The mistake bug hit some of her top hitters hardest.

Chelsea Wong had just six kills and nine errors, Sweet Viamoui four kills and seven errors and Nalani Kekuawela four kills and four errors.

Maeleen Hopeau led the team with nine kills.  She had just two errors.
When Bandy told her she led the team with nine kills, Hopeau replied, “But coach, that’s not good.”

Bandy agreed.

The Cougars had serve/receive difficulties and problems handling Porterville’s trio of freshman outside hitters – Kendyl Estes, Shelby Vanasen and Deja Manning.

On the defensive side of things, freshman libero Halle Neher delivered 13 digs despite suffering minor injuries in a car crash two days earlier.

Wong and Kaylynn Palama had eight apiece, Tara Kelley six and Kamalani Kahele five.
Hopeau had three blocks, Viamoui and Kekuawela two each and Baillie Jensen one.

The Cougars are idle on Friday and return to action next Wednesday with a trip to Sonora to take on Columbia College.

Reedley Rallies Past Cougars in 5 Sets
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 17, 2014

Taft College volleyball coach Kanoe Bandy had a blunt two-word comment Friday after visiting Reedley College surged back from an 0-2 deficit to hand the Cougars a shocking Central Valley Conference loss.

“We caved,” said the veteran coach after her team came out strong by winning the first two sets 25-18 and 25-20 before the Tigers grabbed momentum in the third set and never relinquished it winning 25-21 and 25-17 before taking the tie-breaker 15-10.

Set three was crucial.

It was a tight game throughout with seven lead changes and nine ties. 

Taft’s biggest lead was three and Reedley’s five but most of the time it was closer.

The last tie was 21 before the Tigers scored the final four points and never looked back. 

They led from start to finish in set four.

The first-team-to 15 tie-breaker was close.  It was tied at nine when the Tigers scored four straight, including two taps into open spots and a net violation by the Cougars.

“We made errors and they executed in sets four and five,” Bandy said.  “They made some changes we didn’t adjust to.”

For Bandy the disappointment was deepened by the fact her team played so well on the road two nights earlier in sweeping a good Merced team.

“For some reason we just seem to play better on the road,” she said.

TC and Reedley were tied for second place in the CVC going into the match, which finished off the first round of conference play.

The Cougars will try to rebound Wednesday when Porterville (5-2, 12-6) comes to town for a 6 p.m. match in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.  The Pirates beat the Cougars in four sets when the teams christened CVC play in Porterville on Sept. 24.

The numbers:
Kills: Chelsea Wong 19, Maeleen Hopeau 13, Sweet Viamoui 10, Nalani Kekuawela 5, Baillee Jensen 3.

Digs: Wong 19, Halle Neher 13, Tara Kelley 11, Madeline Griffith 11.

Assists: Griffith 45.

Cougars Sweep Past Merced on the Road
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 15, 2014

MERCED – Taft College got a big volleyball win here Wednesday when the Cougars swept the Merced Blue Devils.

“Merced is a very good team,” said Cougar coach Kanoe Bandy.  “They have two really good middles we had to figure out how to get around.  They opened up with a stuff block.”

The Cougars made the adjustment quickly and went on to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-12 Central Valley Conference sweep.

“We figured out early how to go around their block.”

Sophomore outside hitter Chelsea Wong had a strong night both offensively and defensively.

“Chelsea had a really big game for us,” Bandy said.  “She hit 16-for-26 for 57 percent, and that’s impressive.  She also had 17 digs.”

While Wong was leading the numbers on offense and defense, freshman libero Halle Neher had another good outing.

The freshman from Taft High had 14 digs.

“She really had to work hard,” Bandy said.  “She had to cover for people who were out of position.”

Tara Kelley had seven digs.

Maeleen Hopeau and Sweet Viamoui both had three blocks.

Another aspect of the game that impressed the coach was serving.

“We served really well. We had only two errors all night, but they came at bad times.  One was the first serve of the third set and the other was after a timeout. You never should have a service error coming out of a timeout. We’ve been working hard on more powerful serving. ”

Kamalani Kahele led the way with 15-for-15, 12 points and an ace.

Setter Kaylynn Palama, who is coming back from an injury, played only the second set but served 9-for-9 for six points and an ace.

“She is the kind of server who can get a streak going,” Bandy said.  “She served points 17 through 23.”

Palama had 16 assists in the set she played.  Madeline Griffith had 20 assists in her two sets of work.

Nalani Kekuawela and Viamoui each had six kills and Griffith three, “which is really good for a server.”

The win pushes the Cougars’ conference record to 4-2 (8-11 overall) heading into home match with Reedley, also 4-2.  First serve is at 6 p.m.

Cougars Breeze Past West Hills in Volleyball
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 10, 2014

The bright spot in Taft College’s volleyball sweep Friday over winless West Hills College was the work of setter Kaylynn Palama.

The 5-foot-5 sophomore has been working to get back into top form after being shelved with a high ankle sprain.

“I really think Kaylynn did a great job for us,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy.  “She really takes control of the team.”

Palama had 20 assists in the three-set match, sharing duties with freshman Madeline Griffith, who contributed 11 assists.  Griffith has been carrying the load since Palama went down early in the season.

The Cougars made easy work of West Hills, which came to town with the minimum six players.

Falcon coach Jeff Wanderer’s only advice to his team before the match was, “no one is allowed to get hurt.”

He also quipped, “I don’t think anyone’s going to complain about not getting enough playing time.”

By contrast all 12 players on the Cougar roster saw action.

Maeleen Hopeau led the attack with 12 kills and led the team in blocks with seven.

Chelsea Wong added 10 kills, Sweet Viamoui seven plus a block, Bailey Jensen and Hikialani Kaaihue two apiece and Griffith and Nalani Kekuawela one apiece.

Eight Cougars got in on the action defensively.

Freshman Halle Neher again led the team in digs with 10, Kamalani Kahele had nine and Palama and Wong eight apiece.  Kekuawela had four, Tara Kelley three, and Griffith one.

Despite being outgunned, West Hills fought hard in the first set but never led.

The Cougars were up by six at 13-7, but the Falcons cut it to two at 14-12.

The lead increased to five several times before finishing the set off at 25-20.
TC jumped out quickly in the second set, cruising out to a 10-point lead (12-2) and never looked back.  It ended up at 25-13.

After charging out to a 13-0 lead in the third set the Cougars put it in cruise control and finished it off at 25-11 with Wong’s kill.

The Cougars head to Merced Wednesday and return home Friday to host Reedley.

CVC Standings: Fresno 5-0 (12-5), Porterville 4-1 (11-5), Taft 3-2 (7-11), Reedley 3-2 (9-4), Merced 3-2 (7-7), Sequoias 1-4 (4-6), Columbia 1-4 (4-10), West Hills 0-5 (0-12)

Tiffany Mapusaga, Former Taft College Cougar volleyball outside hitter starter, receives Great Northeast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for September 8, 2014. Tiffany is currently a Junior at the University of St. Joseph, Connecticut.


Tiffany Mapusaga, Saint Joseph (CT) - (Jr.,
OH/MH, Waianae, Hawaii) - September 8, 2014 - Week 2
The junior had a stellar week with 41 kills (3.42 per set) and 33 digs in three matches.
The junior transfer from Taft in Calif. had 35 kills against only eight hitting errors
on 105 swings to go along with 26 digs and four aces in Saturday’s tri-match at
Mount Holyoke.

Michael Ghika Asst. Commissioner for Media Relations mghika@thegnac.com
217 Lincoln Street Winthrop, MA 02152 www.thegnac.com
Albertus Magnus • Anna Maria • Emmanuel • Johnson & Wales • Lasell • Mount Ida
Norwich • Rivier • Saint Joseph (CT) • Saint Joseph’s (ME) • Simmons • Suffolk

Cougars Split Volleyball Matches in Tournament
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 17, 2014

Taft College netters swept past Shasta College in Wednesday’s one-day tournament at West Valley College in Saratoga but dropped a four-set match to undefeated Santa Rosa Junior College.

The split left the Cougars with a 4-9 record – all on the road – heading into next Wednesday’s Central Valley Conference opener at Porterville College.

The scores against Shasta (0-4) were 25-18, 25-22 and 25-14.

Maeleen Hopeau led the Cougar offense with her 16 kills followed by Chelsea Wong’s 11 and Sweet Viamoui’s 9.  Hikilani Kaaihue had 2 and Nalani Kekuawela 1.

Freshman defensive specialist Halle Neher had a solid game with 18 digs followed by sophomore Tara Kelley’s 15.  Both are Taft High graduates.

Setter Madeline Griffith had 39 assists, 7 defensive digs and 4 service aces.
Kamalani Kahele had 6 digs and 2 aces, Kekuawela 5 assists, Hopeau 4 and Wong 3.

After breezing over Shasta the Cougars were right back on the court to play a tough match with unbeaten SRJC, losing by scores of 22-25, 22-25, 25-23 and 17-25.

Individual statistics were unavailable.

When the Cougars travel to Porterville next week it will mark the 14th match on the road.

They won’t get to play in their own gym until a week later when Columbia College of Sonora comes to town.

And while it will be comforting to start playing home matches, the Cougars know they will be in for tough sledding as the CVC is shaping up as a powerhouse northern California conference.

 Porterville, Reedley, Fresno and Sequoias all are having solid pre-conference seasons.

TC Gets off to Rocky Start in Volleyball
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 4, 2014

After losing a five-set match to open the season against Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, the Taft College volleyball team took part in three sweeps but won only one of them.

They opened the sweep streak by losing to Hancock again, this time during a three-team mini-tournament at Cerro Coso College in Ridgecrest, but bounced back to sweep host Cerro Coso to finish the trip to the desert even.

Then the Cougars headed to Los Altos for another three-teamer and were swept by northern California powerhouses Foothill (25-16, 25-11, 25-15) and Sacramento City College (25-15, 25-13, 25-23).

Hancock swept both the Cougars and Cerro Coso to improve to 3-0.  That marked a good start for a team that won only three matches all of last year, losing 21.

The Bulldogs again did it with a solid defense, recording 55 digs, 20 more than the Cougars. 

Three Bulldogs had double-digit digs, the Cougars none.

The scores were all close: 25-23, 25-22 and 25-23.

Offensively, sophomore hitter Sweet Vaimoui led the Cougars with 13 kills out of 33 attacks.  Chelsea Wong had 8 and Baillie Jensen and Maeleen Hopeau 5 apiece.

On the defensive side freshman Halle Neher had 9 digs while Wong and Tara Kelley recorded 5 apiece.

Jensen and Vaimoui each recorded a block.

Setter Madeline Griffith tossed up 29 assists.

Wong led the way in the sweep of Cerro Coso (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) with 12 kills, followed by Vaimoui with 8, Hopeau with 7 and Jensen with 5.

Neher paced the defensive effort again with 8 digs, Griffith and Kelley had 7 apiece and Wong 6.
Vaimoui had 3 blocks and Wong 1.

Freshman Griffith had 32 assists and Wong 4 service aces.

Statistics on the matches in Los Altos were unavailable.

Cougars Volleyball Team Faces Road Test to Begin New Season
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
August 26, 2014

Veteran Taft College volleyball coach Kanoe Bandy and her 2014 team will have to earn their spurs as road warriors before plunging into Central Valley Conference action.
The cougars will play 10 matches and a tournament before making their debut before the home folks on Oct. 1.

TC has trips to Santa Maria, Ridgecrest, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Stockton and Saratoga before opening the conference also on the road at Porterville on Sept. 24.

“We are on the road the entire month of September,” Bandy said. “And we don’t have a scrimmage this season. I’d prefer to have a scrimmage before we start games.

Bandy who enters her 25th season as the Cougars’ volleyball boss, will take a balanced team on the road – but one that lacks height – with her to get ready for a tough Central Valley Conference grind. The Cougars finished third last season.

She has some big shoes to fill with the departure of outside hitters Tiffany Mapusaga and Haley Walrath and defensive specialist Lani kaiwi who made the All-CVC team before graduating.

The cougars don’t have the height Bandy would like so they’ll have to lean more heavily on the defense.

“There’s not a lot of height on this team but our individual skills are very good,” Bandy said. “I think we will be a very good defensive team. We’re going to have to run down balls and give our hitters some opportunities.”

Key returners: Chelsea Wong, 5-8 outside hitter and middle blocker; Sweet Vaimoui, 5-8 outside hitter; Maeleen Hopeau, 5-9 middle; and Kaylynn Palama, a 5-5 setter.

“Our sophomores have worked very hard in the off-season to get stronger,” Bandy said. “I think we are going to depend heavily on our sophomores – especially early in the season.

Wong, Vaimoui and Hopeau are all capable of working the middle or outside. Palama was a bit rusty the first two weeks of drill after missing spring practice because of an injury but is regaining her spark. “We will depend on her experience in running our offense,” Bandy said.

Key newcomers: Setter Madeline Griffith (Escondido), defensive specialists Halle Neher (Taft High) and Kamalani Kahele (Hawaii), outside hitter Kia Kaaihue, middle blocker Nalani Kekuawela (Hawaii), outside hitters Baillie Jensen (Escondido) and Kaila Haslam (Cuyama Valley) and middle Irene Rodriguez (Highland High/Bakersfield.)

Non-conference: Aug. 27 at Hancock, Aug. 30 at Cerro Coso (Ridgecrest), Sept. 3 vs. Sacramento and Foothill at Los Altos Hills, Sept. 5 vs San Joaquin Delta and De Anza at Cupertino, Sept. 12-13 San Joaquin Delta tournament, Sept 17 vs Shasta, Santa Rosa and West Valley at Saratoga.

Conference: Sept. 24 at Porterville, Oct. 1 Columbia, Oct. 3 Sequoias, Oct. 8 Fresno, Oct 10 West Hills, Oct. 15 at Merced, Oct. 17 Reedley, Oct. 22 Porterville, Oct 29 at Columbia, Oct. 31 at Sequoias, Nov. 3 at Fresno, Nov. 7 at West Hills, Nov. 12 Merced, Nov. 14 at Reedley.

All home matches begin at 6 p.m. except Columbia on Oct. 1 when the first serve is at 5 p.m.