SBCC volleyball beats Golden West, 3-1, for third straight win

Taylor+McCluskey+%28No.+4%29+Spikes+the+ball+over+the+net+Wednesday+night%2C+Feb.+24%2C+in+the+Sports+Pavilion.+McCluskey+had+14+kills+and+10+digs+by+the+end+of+the+game.

Daniel Feldtkeller

Taylor McCluskey (No. 4) Spikes the ball over the net Wednesday night, Feb. 24, in the Sports Pavilion. McCluskey had 14 kills and 10 digs by the end of the game.

KURT GABOS, Channels Staff

City College men’s volleyball extended its winning streak to three games Wednesday evening after beating the Golden West Rustlers 3-1 at the Sports Pavilion.

The Vaqueros dropped the first set 23-25 before picking up the next three sets 25-22, 29-27, and 25-22.

“We’re just so slow starting sets right now,” said head coach Matt Jones. “We play from behind all too often.”

City College was driven offensively by sophomore outside hitter Taylor McCluskey, who amassed 14 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Robert Gulvin and freshman opposite hitter Jackson Wopat each added another 10 kills to the Vaqueros total of 47 kills.

“Sometimes I’ll tell my setter I can feel it,” McCluskey said. “And he’ll let it flow to me, and good things happen.”

The first set saw the Rustlers ahead 16-8, their biggest lead of the set. The Vaqueros clawed their way back to 23-23 with all around team play, but dropped two consecutive points relinquishing the first set to Golden West.

“I feel like we get down on ourselves,” Jones said. “Which is something we need to improve on.”

The second set began with the teams trading points, then, City College created a five point gap. The Golden West came back and trailed only 23-22. After a pair of timeouts, City College picked up the final two points and evened the sets at one a piece.

“I’d say a major turning point in this game was the serving,” said Jones. “It got us back in the game until we found our offensive game.”

In the third set, neither the Rustlers nor the Vaqueros managed to increase the lead past four points. Golden West tied the set at 16. After that, the teams took turns earning points until McCluskey put an end to the set with a kill to break the tie and an ace serve to wrap up the set 29-27.

“I’d say both teams were playing their best volleyball in that third set,” said McCluskey. “We served well, we passed well, and players were scrambling for every ball.”

The fourth set started out in favor of the Rustlers as they jumped to an early 8-2 lead, but the Vaqueros clawed back with serving from sophomore setter Kyle Smiley, McCluskey, and Matt Bohorquez to take a 13-11 lead. Behind the serving of Gulvin, City College went on its way to a 25-22 win.

“I felt better tonight about our serving,” stated Jones. “We did a good job of float serving them and getting that ball in their platform.”

Smiley led the Vaqueros defensively producing 10 digs and a season high 42 assists. McCluskey produced another 10 digs while Bohorquez and Haward Gomes each added 8 digs of their own.

City College looks to continue its hot streak at Noon on Friday, Feb. 26 at Irvine Valley.