The American River College volleyball team dominated the Cosumnes River College Hawks last Friday in three matches scoring 25-12, 25-6 and 25-9 that continued their seven-game winning streak and impressed ARC President Thomas Greene, who was present.
“Coach Haine and her girls are a force to be reckoned with,” said Greene, who watched the entire game.
In the beginning of the first match, CRC scored eight points due to simple communication errors on ARC’s team, but the momentum of the game changed when libero Kiana Chaney stepped up to serve.
Middle blocker Courtney Macklin set the pace with a huge block and outside hitter Taylor Bunger followed with a hard hit that allowed Chaney to serve for seven consecutive points.
The first game was finished by another six-point serving streak from outside hitter Kirsten Merlino whose powerful hop skip serve that lands deep into the back court forced CRC to send over multiple free balls which gave the ARC front row a chance to show their strength.
“We really push ourselves to have no unforced errors,” said Bunger.
The second match unraveled quickly for CRC who gave up 13 points straight to Bunger’s serve. During those 13 points, setter and right side Leila Whaley showed her versatility with hard hits and fake tips that were unanswered by the Hawks.
ARC parents cheered on Bunger, calling her “Banger,” who is capable of serving long and deep or even switching it up to a short float serve which confused the competition.
Some of the Hawks’ guests began yelling to the referee at this point saying that the line judge was inadequate and should be replaced.
The Hawks lost the rest of the game to ARC due to unforced errors, including an out-of-rotation call.
In the third match, the Hawks came out with a little more fight than the previous ones, but could not stop the passers on the ARC side who allowed setter Monica Udahl to place the ball in the perfect position for the front row hitters who let loose in the final game.
“They dominated the court the entire game,” Greene said.
Nearing the end of the game, impressive jump serves from outside hitter Erika Jones earned loud cheers from her teammates and ARC fans.
Even after an attempt to slow down Jones with a Hawk’s timeout at 22-9, she continued to serve aces and helped end the game with a win.
“We do a lot of pressure serving in practice, we try to focus on getting the ball in and disrupting their system,” said Bunger.
Team captains Bunger and Jones introduced themselves to Greene after the game and thanked him for his support and attendance.