By Nick Giannandrea
College of the Sequoias women's volleyball team is on a roll.
The Giants will ride a six-match winning streak into their final two matches of this unique, Covid-19 pandemic delayed and shortened season, a March 31 doubleheader at Taft. The first match is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
"I feel like we're peaking at the end," Sequoias coach Kim Rix said. "And that's where you want to be."
Behind a combined 34 kills from Allyson Garcia, the Giants moved to 6-2 following a doubleheader sweep of Cuesta (3-3) on March 25.
The freshman out of Dinuba High tallied 16 kills, three digs, two solo blocks and an ace serve as Sequoias topped Cuesta 25-23, 29-27, 16-25, 25-16 in the first match.
A Garcia kill finished off the first set, and her ace serve brought an end to a second set that saw the Giants stave off set point four times. Mykia Campbell (Coalinga) had the match-winning block in the fourth set.
Sequoias also received 11 kills from Jayda English (Lemoore), seven kills from Teagan Daugherty (Tulare Union), four kills from Kenya Pinon (Woodlake), 17 digs and two aces from Gia Rozadilla (Central-Fresno) and 28 assists from Campbell.
The Giants outlasted the Cougars 23-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-27, 15-10 in the second match as one of Garcia's 18 kills capped the second set, and one of English's 16 fills finished the third set.
Garcia also had 22 digs and two aces, while English added three solo blocks and two aces.
Sequoias' best hitting night of the season also saw Daugherty contribute 13 kills and three solo blocks, Pinon strike for four kills and two solo blocks, and Abby Billingsley (Redwood) deliver three kills and 17 digs.
Campbell fed the attack with 51 assists, while also making 12 digs and seven ace serves, while Rozadilla led the back row with 36 digs along with four aces.
"This was our best match so far," Rix said. "Cuesta is always absolutely phenomenal. We knew it was going to be tough. And it was our first doubleheader, so we were concerned about endurance, but the girls were able to suck it up and finish strong.
"It was extremely tough. We're a little behind in conditioning because of preseason and the offseason conditioning on zoom and everything. I was really proud of the way they came out and fought through."
The Giants were without Hazel Martinez, a returning first-team all-conference selection who has missed three straight matches with an injury.
Rix said she hopes to have Martinez (Mission Oak) back in the lineup for the doubleheader at Taft (5-3).
The Cougars split two matches against Cuesta on March 11, winning 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 17-25, 15-13 and losing 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 25-23.
"Hopefully we'll end with Taft even better than we played (against Cuesta,)" Rix said. "Even though we know Taft is going to be awesome. They always are. That's going to be another tough two matches."