Jenna Anderson had 14 kills and 13 digs Friday night and Bianca Castro and Tessa Weller made huge contributions as SBCC rallied for a 3-1 women’s volleyball victory over Cuesta at the Sports Pavilion.
The 16th-ranked Vaqueros overcame an error-filled first set to win 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-16. It was the 11th straight victory for Santa Barbara, the longest streak since 2009 when they won 12 in a row.
It was also their 36th win in the last 40 home matches.
“Cuesta surprised us by coming out strong in the first set,” said Anderson, a 5-10 freshman opposite. “We got things going in the last three.”
The first-place Vaqueros (13-6, 7-0 WSC North) erased a three-point deficit in the second set by closing on a 9-2 run. Mackenzie Mexico served an ace for the 24th point and Tessa Weller (10 kills) ended it with a strong kill through the block.
Castro, a sophomore middle hitter, took over early in the third set with three kills. Mexico added an ace for the Vaqueros, who built a 13-5 lead. Emily Banas (11 kills) capped the 25-19 win with a kill to the back line.
Castro had nine kills and three blocks. Banas racked up 17 digs on a good digging night for the Vaqueros. Mexico had 14, Anderson 13, Lara Bangs 12 and Ari Garner 10.
Mexico contributed four aces while Erika Bellitt had three.
The fourth set was tied at 14 when the Vaquero servers got hot. SBCC closed the match on an 11-2 run. Anderson had four kills and a block during that final stretch, including kills on the Vaqueros’ last two points.
“Cuesta served really well in the first set and we made a few hitting errors,” said coach Ed Gover. “The Tessa (Weller) substitution paid big dividends. She came in late in the first set and provided a big spark.
“Armen (Zakarian, the assistant coach) added a different type of set for Bianca and Ari and Bianca were able to connect on a really high level at key moments. That new set has helped Bianca become a much more dominant hitter.”
The Vaqueros will try to complete a 6-0 homestand on Wednesday when they host L.A. Mission on Halloween night at 7 p.m.