NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The Glendale College women’s volleyball team overcame a feisty Ventura College defense to win its first match of the season.
And with the Lady Vaqueros playing in the San Diego Mesa Tourney this coming weekend, GCC Coach Yvette Ybarra felt good about the squad traveling on a high note.
“It’s a relief,” Ybarra said after the 25-16, 25-19, 25-21 home victory Wednesday night. “We needed that going into this weekend’s tournament. It’s a confidence thing at this point.”
After taking an early 5-4 lead in the first game, Glendale (1-5) cruised through the first game, holding double-digit leads late and carrying the momentum into a more tightly contested second game — one in which the Vaqueros led the entire way.
With a 2-0 advantage, the Vaqueros looked to put away the Pirates, but the aspirations wouldn’t be met with little resistance. The third game saw 10 tie scores, with the final one coming at 20. Fueled by a pair of Amanda Sadia aces, the Vaqueros scored five of the final six points to clinch the game and the match.
Ventura led on four occasions in the game, including late at 18-17. Led by libero Delaney Fautt, the relentless Pirates defense kept rallies alive as Glendale controlled possession but struggled to clinch points.
“Ventura played good ‘D,’” said Ybarra, who received a team-high 12 kills from Angela Gaignard. “Their libero was everywhere. I told the girls that they have to hit with some power, and point-by-point it was the aggressive hitting that swung it our way.”
Glendale’s largest lead in the final game was four points, whereas the Vaqueros led by as many as 11 in the first game and nine in the second. A 9-2 run in the first and an 8-1 run highlighted the respective sets and created cushion between the two squads in favor of Glendale.
After the 8-1 run in the second game that gave Glendale a 14-5 lead, the Pirates came back with seven unanswered, all coming Fautt’s service game. The two teams would stay close thereafter, but similarly to the third set, the Vaqueros picked up the late points and ended it on a 5-0 run.
Genesis Hill led the Vaqueros with 18 digs. Laila Souktani paced the team with 31 assists.
Souktani, along with Gaignard, Stephanie Hernandez and Amanda Sadia are the only returning players from last season.
The young Vaqueros will look to turn the season around and continue the improved play in the tournament at San Diego, which begins Friday.