WVB: Vaqueros capture tournament title

Katelynn Womack had 13 kills and Madelon Leiphardt handed out 36 assists on Saturday night as SBCC rallied to capture the Brahma Invitational women’s volleyball title with a 3-1 victory over the host, No. 16 L.A. Pierce. The scores were 17-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-22.

Taylor Badois added eight kills and Kaitlyn Clemann had six for the 10th-ranked Vaqueros, who posted their fourth straight win to improve to 8-4. Earlier on Saturday, Alissa La Rocca had a season-high 12 kills and Santa Barbara survived two match points in a 3-2 win over No. 8 Golden West. Those scores were 17-25, 26-24, 25-19, 24-26, 17-15.

It was the first loss of the year for Golden West (7-1), which led 14-12 in the fifth set before La Rocca got a sideout and then the Vaqueros tied it at 15 on the way to a 17-15 triumph. SBCC went 3-0 in the eight-team tourney.

“This is a prestigious tournament and battling Pierce will set the tone for us in conference,” said coach Ed Gover. “We play them again on Friday at their place (in the WSC North opener).

“The Golden West match was a great battle and great fight by both teams. We trailed by five in the fourth set before Eryn Young served six points in a row to put us up 24-23. We’ve been getting great play from our sophomores – Young, Leiphardt and Badois.”

Leiphardt had a season-best 50 assists in the win over the Rustlers.

The Vaqueros will play their final nonconference match on Wednesday at Bakersfield.

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