The VC beach volleyball team split a pair of matches on Friday at Cal State Bakersfield to open Western State Conference play. VC fell to host Bakersfield College in a tight 3-2 contest to open play before coming back to defeat Santa Monica 4-1. Carina Cates and Danielle Garcia were the only double winners for the Pirates (6-5, 1-1), winning twice at the No. 5 slot.
In the first match of the day, the Pirates lost a close one. Four of the five matches went three sets with one, the No. 4 match, having a final difference of just four points. VC's No. 1 pair of Braxton Jessie and Janessa Simental won in three, 21-16, 17-21, 15-8 while the No. 5 pair of Cates and Garcia came from behind to win 18-21, 21-12, 15-5. At No. 4, Sofia Gomez and Jordan Neria lost the first set 21-17 before evening the match with a 21-19 win in the second. in the third set, they fell by a razor-thin margin of 17-15.
Against Santa Monica, the Pirates recovered for the 4-1 victory. Gomez and Neria posted an easy 21-6, 21-9 win at No. 4 while Cates and Garcia won at No. 5, 21-6, 21-11. Taylor Benitez-Fanslow and Shea Mckeown triumphed at No. 3 in straight sets, 21-10, 21-17. Meanwhile, Armonee Hunter and Kasie Spencer were locked in a three-set thriller at No. 2, pulling out a 21-18, 16-21, 15-9 victory. At No. 1, Jessie and Simental fell by a close margin of 22-20, 22-20.
The Pirates continue WSC play at home on Friday March 23. They host Moorpark at 9:00 am and Victor Valley at approximately 1:00 pm at the Harbor Cove Courts at the Ventura Marina.
1. Braxton Jessie/Janessa Simental (VC) lost to Megan Yoon/Chelsea Bostwick (SMC), 22-20, 22-20