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No. 11 Moorpark sweeps Vaqueros in season finale

The Vaqueros celebrate a point on Sophomore Night at the Sports Pavilion. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
The Vaqueros celebrate a point on Sophomore Night at the Sports Pavilion. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Kate Richardson pounded 10 kills and hit .500 on Wednesday night but SBCC couldn't keep pace with No. 11 Moorpark in a 26-24, 25-18, 25-18 women's volleyball setback at the Sports Pavilion.

The Vaqueros had their six-year run as WSC North champions come to an end. SBCC finishes 7-13 for its first sub-.500 record in 15 seasons. The Vaqueros placed third in conference at 3-5. Moorpark (16-4, 6-1) won its fourth straight to set up a showdown with Ventura (7-0) for the WSC title on Friday at Moorpark.

Jacque Ortegon added five kills and hit .333 while Kenzie Garrison had four kills and 17 digs. Ashley Albee also dug 17 balls and was one of seven players honored on "Sophomore Night."

The first set was tight throughout with seven ties. SBCC erased a 20-15 deficit with a 6-1 run, capped by a Richardson kill in the middle. The Vaqueros tied it up at 23 and 24 before Emily Katz hit one off the block and an errant Vaquero pass led to a hit in the net on set point.

Richardson, a 6-foot sophomore middle blocker from Sammamish, Wash., was No. 2 in kills for the Vaqueros on the season (148) and had the highest hitting percentage (.339).

"The girls really worked hard this season and we didn't get all the results that we wanted but coming together and playing as a team was our biggest goal and we did that tonight," said sophomore middle hitter Grace Trocki, after a 4-kill, 8-dig performance. "Regardless of the outcome, we all worked so hard whether it was on the floor or on the bench. We really played as a team."

Miranda Poole, last year's WSC North co-MVP with SBCC's Kaylene Ureno, led Moorpark with 17 kills.

"I thought both teams played hard," said Ed Gover after completing his 28th campaign as the Vaqueros' head coach. "Obviously, they have one of the best players in the conference and she showed why tonight.

"We fought from the heart tonight and we never quit. We were getting more digs than they have all year and played some of our best defense. All we can ask them to do is to play every point as hard as they can."

The Vaqueros jumped ahead 4-1 in the second set, then Moorpark took control and built a 15-11 advantage. SBCC pulled within two, 17-15, on a crosscourt kill by Garrison but the Raiders ended the set on an 8-3 run, capped by a kill from Poole.

The Raiders jumped out to leads of 9-4, 13-6 and 19-11 in the third set. Poole had seven kills and a block. She had two straight kills to make it 23-15. The teams gave a clinic on defense and digging on a long rally on match point. SBCC setter Danielle Hewitt wowed the crowd with a spectacular dig for her 10th of the match, then the Vaqueros hit one in the net to end it.