Porterville falls 3-1 to Cerro Coso in home-opener
Porterville College volleyball set their goals high this season and if the team wants to reach them they've got several areas they'll need to clean up first.
In the Lady Pirates' home-opener against the Coyotes of Cerro Coso (3-7) on Monday, Porterville (5-5) avoided a three-set sweep but fell 3-1 to their opponents. Cerro Coso won the first, second and fourth sets 25-21, 25-19 and 25-21, respectively, but lost the third 25-22.
“It's frustrating,” PC head coach Pete Rasmussen. “It's tough to find something positive out of this.”
There's no doubting the team's heart with the Pirates always keeping the game within reach but they lacked a consistency that could've put them ahead several times.
Serving was a problem during the entire match and defensive miscommunications found PC players missing digs and blocks while the Coyotes cheered their points.
“I think (set) one, I think we had eight hitting and serving errors,” Rasmussen said. “That's a third of the points. You don't win if you're giving them a third of their points for free. I'm trying to find something positive that we've gotten better on, I don't know that we have.”
Porterville did have their moments on the court and showed promise with a much anticipated back-row attack provided by Emily Kissick, who had five kills and ½ a block. From the back row to the front, Madison Doty stood out with a team-high seven kills, four digs and two blocks. Setter Jordan Castaneda also did well with 30 assists and three kills.
Jocelyn Sanchez contributed six kills, Kuea Angilau had five, Paige Borges and Juliet Garcia had two each while Makayla Trujillo helped round out the team's 31 kills with one of her own. Sanchez also had 1 ½ blocks and Angilau chipped in a ½ block as part of the team's five total blocks.
Still, Rasmussen knows there's a lot for the team to work on.
“It all comes down to one word,” Rasmussen said. “Discipline. We just don't have the discipline on the block, the discipline on the pass, the discipline on the serve, the discipline on defense. We just don't do the same thing twice. That's on me.”
Porterville trailed by as many as nine points in their losses, but in their win the Pirates started up 12-6 before six straight points from the Coyotes tied the score. Cerro Coso managed two more ties then made it a one-point game twice before Porterville ended the game on a 4-2 run.
On that run, PC got their points from two hits by Doty, an ace from libero Karissa Jones and the final point came from a block by Borges and Sanchez.
Jones also led the team in aces with four and had 12 digs. Yvette Hernandez's three aces aided the team's nine total aces.
Rasmussen's goal for the team once again is to finish high in the CVC and make the playoffs. Porterville's CVC journey begins with a 6 p.m. game at College of the Sequoias (6-3).