The Pirate volleyball team continued to search for its groove Friday night, hosting College of the Canyons at the Athletic Event Center. For a time it looked as if they had found it, leading in sets 1-0 and surviving a pair of set points to tie the score in the second at 25-25. But the Cougars prevailed in the set 29-27, and VC eventually dropped the match in four, 17-25, 29-27, 25-21, 25-14. Brooklyn Wallet led a total team effort with 13 kills while Raphaella Rosales and Vanessa Ihrke totaled nine and seven winners, respectively.
VC fell behind 10-5 in the opening set before scoring 20 of the final 27 points. Rosales keyed the rally, serving five winners to tie the score at 10-10 before the Pirates breezed to the early advantage. Kassidy Wilson had a service ace on set-point to clinch the win.
Canyons jumped out to an early 9-2 advantage in the second set before kills by Ihrke and Morgan Gallagher, among others, pulled the Pirates to within 11-7. Wilson had another ace in the rally, and Ventura eventually tied the set at 17-17. A block by Rosales and another ace from Wilson gave the Pirates a 21-20 advantage, but they could not hold on. The Cougars had set-points at 24-23 and 25-25 before Wallet's tip tied the count at 25. Gallagher had an ace to give VC a 27-26 set-point, but CoC won the final three points to claim the set, 29-27.
The third set was close throughout before Canyons took a small advantage 16-13. The Pirates were able to close to within 23-21 helped by kills from Rosales and Ihrke, but they could get no closer in the 25-21 loss.
Ventura dropped behind once again in the fourth set, 5-1, before Gallagher served the Pirates back to a 5-5 tie. Wallet had the block to knot the score. The Cougars were able to reassert control, however, and led 15-11 when VC took a timeout. The match got out of hand at that point as CoC outscored Ventura 10-3 the rest of the way to clinch the 3-1 triumph.
Gallagher and Shantalle Ruiz each recorded six kills in the match, and Tatum Teel had five. Gabby Boado handed out 21 assists and Wilson recorded 18 helpers. Leslie Perez led the defense with 21 digs while Rosales had 13. Wilson had four services aces and Gallagher hit three.
Ventura (4-7) opens up Western State Conference North Division play on Wednesday Sept. 25 at Moorpark. The match begins at 6:00 pm at Raider Pavilion.