SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Facing several of the best teams in the state this past weekend, the SBCC played some of its best volleyball of the season. Following a competitive 3-2 Friday defeat at No. 25 Bakersfield, the Vaqueros enjoyed back-to-back sweeps at the Cuesta Quad over No. 14 Hartnell and Monterey Peninsula.
SBCC 3, Hartnell 0 | 25-16, 25-16, 25-23
Opening the Cuesta Quad against the 14th ranked team in the state, SBCC came out strong and didn't let up, winning each of the first two sets by nine points before completing the sweep with a 25-23 third set win.
"Led by libero Jacelin McKie's 20 digs and the setting of Emma Crabbe and Mikayla Butzke, we swept Hartnell for a strong start to our day," head coach Kat Niksto said. "Ava Guenther and Karoline Ruiz were once again on top of their attacking game, leading the team in kills with nine and eight, joined in this match by Heidi Collins who also had eight. It was a fun match to be a part of, as we were in control of the game from start to end."
Crabbe finished with 19 assists and 11 digs, notching her second straight double-double and team-leading fourth of the year. Gabby Russell was the third Vaquero to reach double-digit digs with 10 for the fourth time this year.
Along with her eight kills, Ruiz led all players with three aces.
SBCC 3, Monterey Peninsula 0 | 25-9, 25-18, 25-19
Later in the day against an undefeated Monterey Peninsula team that has been ranked in the "Best of the Rest" just outside the top-25, the Vaqueros came out with another huge start and comfortably won all three sets.
"Giving MPC their first loss of the season felt good, especially opening the first set in dominating fashion with a 25-9 victory," Niksto said. "After a long week with four matches in total, it was a solid close out to the week."
Caorline McCarty led the team with her second double-double of the year, going for 10 kills and 13 digs.
Jacelin McKie went for over 15 digs for the fourth straight game, finishing with 18. That gives her a whopping 73 digs over the Vaqueros' last four matches, averaging out to an outstanding 5.21 digs per set. She is currently ranked 20th in the state in digs/set.
Santa Barbara enjoyed advantages of .220-to-.138 in hitting and 9-2 in aces in the win as it earned its third sweep in its last four outings.
Bakersfield 3, SBCC 2 | 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 24-26, 16-14
SBCC went the distance for the first time in Friday's match at Bakersfeld, earning two close wins in the opening set and the fourth set before a narrow 16-14 fifth set defeat.
"What a battle! After a strong first set, we fell a bit flat losing the next twogames. I was very proud of how we battled back to win the fourth set, and we had the ball in our hands to win the game in set five and just couldn't close it out," Niksto said. "It's one of those losses that sticks with you because of the missed opportunity, but as a team I was proud of how we battled."
Ava Guenther and Caroline McCarty led the team in kills with 14 and 13, respectively. Karoline Ruiz also had a strong offensive night with seven kills and only one error on 15 swings for a .400h hitting percentage. McKie led the team in digs with 19.
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, the Vaqueros will travel to Cuesta for their WSC opener at 6:00 p.m.