COD Women’s Volleyball knocks off the Panthers for first time since 2011, 3-0

COD Women’s Volleyball knocks off the Panthers for first time since 2011, 3-0

COD (6-1) not only swept their former Foothill Conference foes, but demolished them, bookending their efforts with huge point runs and knocking out the Chaffey Panthers (4-3) for the first time since 2011, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-13).

In the first set, sophomore setter Ashtyn Lyneis (Palm Springs H.S.) opened the game with a service ace, then Chaffey rattled off three points, before the Roadrunners rolled up the Panthers, going on a 15-2 run, in the midst of which, Chaffey called both of their time outs. The Panthers second time out generated a three point run for them, but then Desert put together a 7-2 to really put the set out of reach.

"We started off really strong, everything was in system, we tried not to make mistakes, we were going aggressive, (and) we were doing the best we could to keep everything in play," commented sophomore middle blocker Naomi Garcia-Marquez (Rancho Mirage H.S.). "That's what we've been working for this whole time in practice. We've cleaned up our mistakes pretty well compared to the past games, so we started really strong."

The second set was a real back-and-forth contest as neither team could gain that much separation, but after the match was once again tied, this time at 11-11, Desert went on a lengthy run. Bolstered by back-to-back service aces by sophomore middle blocker Nicole Svoboda (La Quinta H.S.), the Roadrunners went on a 10-3 run, to make the score 21-14 and put that match out of reach.

The third set was a showcase of the killer instinct of this year's Roadrunners squad, even though Chaffey opened up the set on a 4-0 run, Desert would tie the game at 7-7 and again at 10-10 and then the Panthers had to fight back to tie the set at 13-13. Then the Roadrunners claws came out, as Desert rattled off 12 straight points to close out the match.

"Well I think in the third set, we started getting comfortable and then we were making some errors that we don't usually make and then I think we just kind of all came together, and like, 'okay we have to put the foot on the gas and finish here,'" said freshman opposite Kendal Campbell (White Rock, BC Semiahmoo Secondary). "Cause a team like that, they were still right in it with us, so we didn't want to give them any momentum and just shut them down."

Lyneis led the team with 27 assists, tied for the team lead with 3 solo blocks, had 2 service aces and had 7 digs and sophomore outside hitter Baylie Dashner (La Quinta H.S.) led the team with 12 kills and had a solo block.
Freshman outside hitter Kelsey Smith (Delta, BC South Delta Secondary) had 4 kills and had 9 digs and Svoboda led the team with 3 service aces, tied for the team lead with 3 solo blocks and had 8 kills.

Sophomore libero Emily Sundback (Rancho Mirage H.S.) led the team with 10 digs and had 2 assists. 

Ironically, the last time your Roadrunners defeated Chaffey, which was in 2011, was at home and it was the final game of the career of former Desert head coach Steve Larkin. Larkin is the predecessor of current co-head coach, Marion Champion, who was Larkin's assistant for many years. Desert has a 25-30 record all-time against the Panthers, with 16-13 record in the friendly confines of Palm Desert.

The next game for COD is at home against a completely revamped Cuyamaca Coyotes (6-1) squad from El Cajon. After the Coyotes finished last in the PCAC-South in 2017, they are making their way to Palm Desert red hot, the match starts at 5 p.m.

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For additional information, please contact the COD Sports Information Office at 760.423.6641.

Information & Story provided by COD Sports Information. Photo by Michael Leone Photography (