Despite Best Effort, Lady Vaqs Lose to Cougars


BLOCKED: Lady Vaqueros Angela Gaignard and Brooke Forrester, in white, jump to block the incoming ball.

Chantal Bevard, Staff Writer

Although the Lady Vaqueros ultimately lost their match Friday to the Lady Cougars, the volleyballers made the Cougars fight for every point in the three games, but they ultimately were shut out in a 0-3 matchup (25-18, 25-20, 25-15).

Friday’s game was the Vaqueros’ first conference game, but head coach Yvette Ybarra said that the team has played against some good teams this year so nerves weren’t the issue.

Ybarra said that their serve-receive passing was their weakness, “We can hit the ball, we can attack the ball and we showed that, but when we couldn’t pass it just destroyed our whole offence.”

Ybarra has tried to coach the team on its serve receiving since before the season opener.

Since the Vaqueros have been working on this problem all season, Ybarra thought that they had overcome it, “I thought we were done with it, but it came back. Unfortunately in a really bad way, especially with our best passers in the back passing.”

Even though it was a home game, the Cougars’ fans made their presence known. Their cheers dominated the Vaqueros’ fans’ cheers.

Ybarra said that it wasn’t the lack of energy that made the Vaqueros lose, but rather the lack of focus.

“Their focus comes in spurts, which is never really good. You can’t play this game like that, because it’s too fast. We have to learn to be better in that regard,” said Ybarra.

One of the team’s captains, sophomore Angela Gaignard, agreed with Ybarra that the team lost focus, “I’m not sure why we lost focus. I think it has to do with the individual. Half of us were up and ready to go, while half of us were breaking down.” Half of the team was breaking down because they had to try and beat the Cougars in the third game after losing two.

Although Gaignard said that the team is close off the court, she said that doesn’t always help them on the court. “There’s points in the game where we don’t play as a team necessarily, so we really need to work on that.”

Ybarra agreed with Gaignard and said that while the team is close, it’s not helping them right now. However, their closeness has helped them in the past.

Gaignard shared why she was one of the Vaqueros’ top hitters during the match, “I make myself a goal before every single game, one for blocking and one for hitting. I just mentally prepare and visualize myself doing it.”

Even though the Vaqueros played better than the Cougars during the beginning of the third game, they weren’t able to capitalize on it. Gaignard attributes this downfall to one thing, “Our passing broke down at the most crucial points and that’s basically it.”

Ybarra said that the team is going to work on serve-receiving to prepare for the upcoming game tonight.

As one of the captains, Gaignard has to help her team recover from this loss. “We are going to go at it at practice and come together, forget about that game, fix our mistakes and go out there again and give it our 110 percent.”

The Lady Vaqs are hosting Santa Monica College at 7 p.m. tonight in the Verdugo Gym. GCC will play their next away game at West Los Angeles College on Friday.