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Vaqueros rally past Cuesta, 3-2

Kenzie Garrison had her third straight double-double (13 kills, 11 digs) and sixth of the season. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Kenzie Garrison had her third straight double-double (13 kills, 11 digs) and sixth of the season. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Kenzie Garrison had 13 kills and 11 digs on Wednesday night as SBCC rallied for an exciting 3-2 women's volleyball win over visiting Cuesta.

The scores were 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-14, 15-11. It was the Vaqueros' first win in four 5-set matches this year.

Kate Richardson added eight kills, five blocks and a .350 hitting percentage and Grace Trocki had eight kills, five blocks and two aces for the Vaqueros (4-9, 2-1 WSC North). Cuesta fell to 6-11 and 0-2.

The Vaqueros jumped out to leads of 5-1, 11-2 and 17-6 in the fourth set. Richardson capped the 25-14 win with a kill in the middle.

Santa Barbara took a 4-1 lead in the fifth set and never relinquished it. Leading 9-8, the Vaqueros went on a 4-1 run and a block by Trocki made it 13-9. On match point, Richardson reached high for a kill off a back-row defender.

"This match was very high-energy and our focus was to come together and work as a team, rather than play as individuals," said Trocki, a sophomore middle blocker from Marin County. "We worked on our passing, that was our focus for the last two weeks. The girls have really worked hard and it showed in tonight's match."

The Vaqueros fell behind 15-10 and 17-14 before rallying to take the first set. Trocki served an ace during a 5-0 run that put SBCC ahead 19-17. Richardson capped the 25-21 win with a stuff block in the middle.

The Vaqueros overcame a 14-9 deficit in the second set with a 8-2 burst that gave them a 17-16 lead. SBCC led 22-19 on a Garrison tool off the block before the Cougars closed on a 6-0 run to take the set 25-22.

Ashley Albee returned to the lineup after missing a month with a concussion. Albee and Ava Geyer contributed 10 digs apiece. Albee started at defensive specialist, then put on the libero jersey for the last two sets.

"We knew it was going to a battle with similar talent on both sides," said Vaquero coach Ed Gover, who's in his 28th season. "We got Kenzie back today (she missed the last match with an injury) and this was Ashley's first match in a while. Our libero was a little off today, so we gave the shirt to Ashley and everything seemed to settle down after that.

"Kate Richardson brings her 'A game' every night and has such a positive attitude. She's a real workhorse. Grace played well in the middle and had a few key serving runs."

The Vaqueros will travel to No. 10 Moorpark (11-3, 2-0) on Friday at 6 p.m.