WVB: SBCC middles shine in sweep

The middles were as hot as the weather in SBCC’s 3-0 women’s volleyball sweep of Hancock on Friday night at the Sports Pavilion. Isabella Thompson had a season-high 12 kills with a .435 hitting percentage and Hannah Cantrell added five kills, three blocks and a .625 percentage, leading the Vaqueros to a 25-17-25-19, 25-20 victory.

It was the sixth straight win and 12th in 13 matches for the Vaqueros (15-2, 3-0 WSC), who were fresh off a 3-1 upset of No. 1-ranked L.A. Pierce on Wednesday.

Thompson, a 5-10 middle blocker from Stockton, started on Wednesday in place of the injured Paige Sabin. In two matches this week, she had 15 kills and a .444 percentage.

“I’m getting more comfortable and it’s always nice to have support from my teammates,” said Thompson. “They help build my confidence and make me work harder. I get better because of them.

“We wanted to play aggressive and have a lot of energy like we did in the Pierce match. Hancock gave us a battle and I’m happy we came through with the win.”

With the score tied 10-10 in the first set, the Vaqueros went on a 12-1 run to build a 21-11 lead. Hillary Bean had four aces in the opening set and served the last eight points in that run. SBCC led from start to finish in the second set, finishing on a 7-3 burst capped by a kill from Shannon Friend.

The third set was tight with eight ties up until 18-18. That’s when Isabella Thompson took over, scoring three of the next five points as the Vaqueros took a 22-19 lead. Cantrell had a kill to make it 24-20 and Alissa La Rocca served a left-handed ace on match point.

“We really wanted to work our middles tonight and Bella had one of her best nights,” said SBCC coach Ed Gover. “We wanted to get the middle going in transition and it was nice to see Shiloe (Parsons) connect with both Hannah and Isabella.

“That’s the next phase of our game that we need to get better at – running our middles because we’re pretty good at the pins. Hillary served great for us tonight.”

Katelynn Womack and Kaitlyn Clemann added seven kills apiece with Clemann hitting .316. Tristen Thompson dug 25 balls and Shiloe Parsons had 34 assists.

“We talked about avoiding a letdown (after the Pierce win) and there shouldn’t be one because you have to come out and play every match hard in the WSC,” Gover noted. “Hancock put up a good fight, they got to a lot of balls and made things tough for us. We did a good job of maintaining our focus throughout the match.”

SBCC travels to Moorpark on Wednesday for a WSC North match at 6 p.m.