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COC notebook: Cougar teams near state finals

Women’s golf, cross country are in thick of postseason

Posted: November 7, 2010 9:45 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Several fall sports teams at College of the Canyons are still making their playoff push.

For women’s golf and cross country, the postseason has already arrived – and the teams are making the most of it.

The women’s golf team will complete play in the Southern California Championship today, and if the Cougars finish in the top three, they’ll advance to the California Community College Athletic Association Championship next Monday and Tuesday in Chino Hills.

As for cross country, the men’s and women’s teams will return to the CCCAA Championship together for the first time since 2007. The two squads qualified at the Southern California Championship this past Saturday.

Here’s a look at how COC teams fared last week.

Women’s Golf

On the first day of the SoCal Championship at Alisal Ranch, the Cougars finished second with a team score of 325.

Taylor Gould fired a 79 on Sunday to lead COC, while Hae Yong Kim shot an 80, Tiara Wells shot an 81, Hannah Lee carded an 85, Candace Robledo shot a 91 and Brittany Suarez finished with a 92.

Their team score was 15 strokes behind Irvine Valley College, which shot a 310.

“I think that we needed to rise to the occasion more than we did,” said COC head coach Gary Peterson. “This is postseason play. You need to step it up and play above your normal game. Some people were playing really well and hit a bump in the road and didn’t recover as well as they could have.”

Individually, Gould, Kim and Wells qualified for the state finals by being under the cut at 82.

There are six teams at the SoCal Championship, and the top two advance to the state finals. Bakersfield shot a 333, eight strokes behind COC.

Those two teams tied for first place last Monday at the Western State Conference Championship, but the Cougars won the conference with a 33-3 overall record.

“It’s always exciting to win a conference championship,” Peterson said. “Our low round of the year was the 304 at Morro Bay. We need to find that game again. To do that, we need everybody to be on top of their game, the reason we have six people on this team is become every one of them is an important member of the team, and they need to realize that.”

The Cougars will begin play in today’s second and final round of the SoCal Championship  at 8:30 a.m.

Cross Country

The men’s team finished 16th at the SoCal Championships on Saturday, while the women’s team wound up 17th at the East Mission Bay Park course in San Diego.

The performances were good enough to qualify for the state championship meet at Woodward Park in Fresno.

“Our men, for the most part, all improved from when we were on the course a month ago,” said head coach Lindie Kane. “The women are battling illness so we didn’t run our best time, but both qualified and that was the goal.”

The men were led by Golden Valley High graduate Ryland Del Valle’s time of 21 minutes, 52 seconds, which was 34th overall.

Between the CIF State Cross Country Championships and invitational meets, many members of the Cougars’ teams have run at Woodward Park before.

Kane has particularly high hopes for Del Valle at the state meet.

“His goal is to try to break into that top 20, which he’s very capable of doing,” she said.

Men’s Soccer

COC ran its winning streak to five straight thanks to a 3-0 victory over L.A. Mission last Tuesday and a 2-0 triumph over Citrus on Friday.

Two Santa Clarita Valley products hooked up for one of the goals against Citrus, when Golden Valley High graduate Andres Bueno found Valencia High graduate Brooks Walsh in the 67th minute.

Midfielder Jorge Serrano scored the other goal in the third minute.

The Cougars (11-5-2, 7-3-2) will finish the regular season this week when they travel to face Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Oxnard at 3 p.m. Friday.

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team split a pair of 1-0 decisions, beating Citrus by that score on Tuesday and losing to Santa Monica at home on Friday.

Canyon High graduate Beth Barker scored the goal against Citrus in the 36th minute.

Against Santa Monica, the Cougars were outshot 16-3, and Canyon High graduate Kristen Grunhold made eight saves.

COC sits at 10-7-2 overall and 6-6 in WSC play, and it will wrap up the regular season this week with a trip to Glendale at 7 p.m. Tuesday before hosting Bakersfield at 3 p.m. Friday.

Women’s Volleyball

COC split a pair of matches this past week, beating Bakersfield 3-1 on Tuesday and losing to WSC-leading Pierce 3-2 on Friday.

Against Bakersfield, the Cougars (10-9, 5-3) overcame a slow start and got a team-high 19 kills from Golden Valley High graduate Lindsey Murachanian. Valencia High graduate Megan Lavo added 14 kills.

COC is currently in third place in the WSC, sitting behind unbeaten Pierce and 6-3 Bakersfield.

The Cougars will travel to West L.A. on Tuesday and host Glendale on Friday. Both games are at 7 p.m.

Men’s Basketball

The season is off to a good start for COC, which beat East L.A. 74-67 on Friday and Santa Ana 69-59 on Saturday at the Clash at Canyons Tournament.

Hart High graduate Parker Dominguez went 7-for-9 from the floor and scored 20 points to lead the Cougars (2-0) against Santa Ana, while Hart High graduate Brad Wyche added 15 points.

Against East L.A., Canyon High graduate Wesley Bartole and Saugus High graduate Donald Smith led the team with 14 points each, while Wyche added 13, including a 3-for-3 mark from beyond the arc.

COC will travel to face Saddleback at 3 p.m. Thursday.


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