Falcons Sweep Golden Eagles in First-Ever "Battle of the Birds"

Falcons Sweep Golden Eagles in First-Ever "Battle of the Birds"

While the West Hills College Coalinga Falcons didn't bring their "A" game, they still had enough offensive firepower to defeat the host West Hills College Lemoore Golden Eagles, 3-0, in the district's first-ever competition in any sport.

A large crowd from Coalinga and Lemoore came to support their respective programs at a spirited Golden Eagle Arena – and fans were treated to an intense match that favored the visiting Falcons (25-19, 25-20, 25-23).

The Falcons improved to 1-2 in the Central Valley Conference and 3-5 overall, while the Golden Eagles fell to 0-3 and 1-3.

WHCC freshman outside hitter Andrea Lopez led both teams with 14 kills – the fifth time she has recorded 10 or more kills in eight matches. She also had 16 digs and three aces.

Sophomore setter Taylor Ramos paced the Falcons with 21 assists and four aces, while freshman setter Isabella Galang added 18 assists and eight digs.

Freshman libero Emilee Degunya led the team with 28 digs.

Freshman outside hitter Mia Bouttavong ignited the Falcon crowd with a career-high 13 kills – nearly doubling her previous best output of seven last week against Fresno City College.

The Golden Eagles played well on defense, getting tips at the net and digging hard-hit attacks from the Falcons to keep the scores close. They also held leads in each of the three sets.

"We played well, but didn't play to our full potential tonight," said Ramos.

"We had a lot of great plays, but we can do a lot more. I'm proud of us for coming together and finishing the game out strong."

The Falcons kept the Golden Eagles off balance, as Ramos and Galang set to the outside hitters, as well as the middle blockers: Magali Renteria (5 kills, 10 digs) and Haley Ramirez (4 kills). As a team, WHCC finished with 12 service aces.

"We have definitely gotten more comfortable with each other on the court and our defense has improved," said Lopez.

"We just need to work on keeping our hype level up, where it should be, and keep fighting hard every single game."

WHCC will play its third straight road match on Friday, visiting Columbia College (1-2, 3-6) in Sonora.

All other CVC matches on Wednesday resulted in 3-0 sweeps: Fresno d. Taft; Merced d. Sequoias; Cerro Coso d. Porterville; and Columbia d. Reedley.