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Spikers Beat Porterville in Season Opener

Spikers Beat Porterville in Season Opener

Cuesta Women's Volleyball opened the 2021 campaign at home with a four-set win over Porterville (25-23, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15).  The Cougars were one of only six CCCAA teams to play a meaningful game in 2020-21 and it made the difference tonight.  The Cougars suited up 15 players for the match, while the visiting Pirates arrived without any substitutions.  In the first set, Porterville, after a 13-13 tie, held a 22-19 lead when Cuesta rallied.  The Cougars tied the game at 22-22 and pushed on for a 25-23 victory to open the match.  The Cougars constant substitutions gave Porterville an opportunity to attack in the second set as the Cougars worked with their new rotations.  The Pirate six-pack appeared to come together in Game-2, and, in another close set, they evened the match by turning the tables on Cuesta, 25-23.  However, back-to-back hard-fought sets played to Cuesta's advantage, as their fresh rotations continued to pound away at the Bucs.  Cuesta snapped a 9-9 tie to start the third set and, eventually, took the rubber-match in convincing fashion, 25-16.  The final set was more of the same as Cougar after Cougar kept pounding away at the Pirates' resolve.  Cuesta's early 9-5 lead rolled into 23-10 at the cusp of victory, however Porterville would not fade away gently.  In a final stand at match-point, Porterville rallied to hold off the Cougars for four more serves before succumbing, 25-15.  On the night, Cuesta was led by a pair of stars from their 2020-21 season. Setter Kelsey Courtney (Cincinnati, OH) and Outside Hitter Christelle Mouret (Morro Bay HS), who remain freshmen for eligibility purposes.  Courtney ran the Cougars' offense to perfection and made sure everyone was involved.  She dished out 41 assists, the third time in eight games she has eclipsed 40 assists in a match in her brief career and added five service aces.  Mouret, who ranked 5th for points per set (3.6) in the State in 2020-21, posted career-highs with both 17 kills and seven service aces.   

The Cougars (1-0) hit the road for the Hartnell Mini-Tournament in Salinas on Friday.  The Spikers are scheduled to play both Folsom Lake (3 PM) and host Hartnell (5 PM) at the event.  This weekend marks the first matches for both the host Panthers and visiting Falcons since November 2019.