Comets dominate Eagles in three straight sets

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

Crisp passing, mixed with a strong backcourt defense, controlled extended volleys that eventually translated into the Comets’ volleyball team sweeping Laney College 25-20, 25-18, and 25-18 at the Gymnasium on Oct. 30.

Contra Costa College (4-12 overall 2-9 in the Bay Valley Conference) and the Eagles (1-14 overall, 0-10 in the BVC) both played the entirety of the game without substitutions due to a minimal roster.

A long volley for the third score of the initial set showed that both teams were match in speed. But as far as the display of passing and defensive communication during the game, the Comets had the advantage. This allowed the squad to capitalize and break down the Eagle defense.

CCC setter Richelle Ledesma controlled her teams’ attack throughout the match and finished with 3 service aces and 20 assists. Ledesma’s services opened the door for outside hitter Rachelle Cuevas to finish with 11 kills in the game.

“I didn’t expect their roster to be that short,” Ledesma said. “The first time we played (Laney) they had more players.”

The Comets jumped out to a commanding 9-4 lead, punctuated by a CCC outside hitter Kailey Walker kill. Walker said she gained confidence with every Comet point.

Another soft drop shot by middle blocker Valeria Avilla caught the Eagles off guard, as the Comet defensive backline kept Laney kill shots at bay by maintaining stellar defensive position.

Eagle setter Claire McKee tried to, on her own, keep LC in the game with diving digs and inspiring offensive efforts, but CCC took the first set 25-20.

In the second, the volleys were shorter as the Comets took advantage of their lesser skilled opponents. Aggressive net play by Avilla forced a Laney timeout with the score at 7-2. A streak of service points and kills by Cuevas gave CCC a 24-17 lead. The Comets took the second 25-20.

“We are hustlers,” Avilla said. “We outwork every team we play against.”

The Comets never trailed in the match. They also used their experience of having a limited roster to their advantage against an opponent who played most of the season with ample bodies on the bench.

Laney kept the score close. It was 9-7 in the third until a Walker kill, combined with a series of daggers by Avilla, helped extend the Comet lead to 19-12. CCC eventually took the final set 25-18.

“It feels good to get a win,” CCC coach Zachary Schrieve said. “We did some good things in our loss against Yuba. I didn’t over talk them, I just wanted those things to translate into this game.”

The squad will need to maintain their defensive form when they travel to Pittsburgh to Face Los Medanos College Nov. 7 at 6 p.m.