WVB: Clemann, Womack lead Vaquero sweep

Kaitlyn Clemann notched 10 kills and a .429 hitting percentage while Katelynn Womack posted her third straight double-double as No. 2 SBCC swept past Cuesta 25-9, 25-11, 25-14 on Wednesday night in the Sports Pavilion.

Womack had 10 kills and 13 digs and Shannon Friend added nine kills and a .412 hitting percentage in the WSC North women’s volleyball victory on Think Pink Night which honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The first-place Vaqueros (19-2, 7-0) needed just 63 minutes to record their 10th straight win and 16th in 17 matches.

Santa Barbara hit a season-high .360 with 42 kills and just 10 errors. Tristen Thompson had 15 digs, Womack added 13 and Raleigh McKinney had 11. Shiloe Parsons distributed 32 assists on a night when 13 Vaqueros played and nine had at least one kill.

SBCC started fast in each set, leading 7-1, 7-3 and 11-4, respectively. The Vaqueros never trailed and the closest Cuesta (7-14, 1-6) got was 7-6 in the second set. Womack served an ace to ignite a 13-3 run that stretched the lead to 20-9.

“We just wanted to play sharp, stick together, keep up the energy and try not to play down to their level,” said Parsons, a freshman setter from Coronado, Calif. “We really wanted to get the middles involved and they made a huge impact.

“Everyone contributed on and off the court and we showed great energy.”

The No. 2 Vaqueros have a huge match with No. 1 L.A. Pierce (21-1, 6-1) on Friday at 6 p.m. in Woodland Hills. The top two ranked teams in California split their first two meetings, with Pierce winning 3-2 on its home court and the Vaqueros taking a 3-1 decision on Oct. 7 at home.

Santa Barbara is 39-2 in its last 41 conference matches with both losses coming to Pierce.

“We’re ready,” said Parsons. “It’s going to be at their place this time and it will be packed and loud but that pumps up our team. We’ll be ready.”

The middle blockers were ready for SBCC on Wednesday, combining for nine kills and a .643 hitting percentage. Hannah Cantrell had five hills and just one error for an .833 percentage and Paige Sabin drilled three kills with a .600 percentage. Cantrell also had three blocks.

“We’ve been working the whole week on getting the middles more acclimated in the offense,” said head coach Ed Gover. “We needed a little more productivity out of the middle. We know the outsides will produce and KC (Kaitlyn Clemann) has made great gains lately. We did a great job in the middle tonight.

“Our goal is to make sure each server has a little run, even two or three points. You go through four servers and they all have at least two points and suddenly, you have a big gap. It’s called serve-and-score. We want to sideout and score on the next one, so we get two points. Our servers were pretty much spot-on tonight.”

The Vaqueros had six service aces (two by McKinney) and only one error.

And what about playing No. 1 Pierce in the rubber match on Friday night?

“The amazing thing is that the two top-ranked teams in the state are from the Western State Conference,” said Gover. “It shows you how our programs have grown and it’s going to be a great match.

“This might be the last time we play Pierce because the conference will be changing next year. They get a lot of fans and it’s a great environment. This will be the eighth time our sophomores have played at Pierce this year (against seven different teams), so they won’t be intimidated.”

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