After tasting defeat for the first time this season in its last match, the Bakersfield College volleyball team had no interest in making a habit of losing.
Penelope Zepeda had a team-best 11 kills and the eighth-ranked Renegades finished with two dominant sets in a 25-20, 25-12, 25-11 win over Ventura Wednesday night.
A back-and-forth opening set turned the Renegades' way thanks in part to Ventura hitting errors. Pirate mishits gave BC the lead on three separate occasions including back-to-back errors that gave the Renegades a 17-15 lead, one they held the rest of the set.
There was controversy late in the set, when Pirate coach Brad Lyans felt a point had been given to BC in error, believing a 22-19 Renegade advantage should have been 21-20. Officials denied his attempts to protest the play.
The second and third sets wouldn't be as hotly contested.
The only thing that could derail BC in the second set was a malfunctioning scoreboard that delayed play for several minutes. Destiny Nobringa opened the scoring with a kill and the Renegades proceeded to score six of set's first seven points.
The Pirates proceeded to take a 5-4 lead in set three before Zepede painted the back line with a kill then immediately followed it with an ace. The Renegades proceeded to score 21 of the ensuing 28 points, which included a 10-0 run.
Following a 25-22, 25-23, 26-28, 25-23 loss to MiraCosta Saturday, which knocked his team from the ranks of the unbeaten, BC coach Carl Ferreira said it was crucial for his team to not overreact, and was pleased with the response Wednesday.
"The worst thing you want to do is react when you lose or react when you win," he said. "If you can win and lose the same way, I think you’re doing a good job."
Their coach's level-headed approach seemed to resonate with players, who were noticeably jovial during the dominant close to the third set.
“Coach tells us gameday is a day to be super free, play our game," Zepeda said. "(We try) being like little kids playing on the playground.”
Alyson Dees added nine kills, while Jessica Merante, McKenzie Villalvazo and Sophia Palm all had eight digs for the 8-1 Renegades, who travel to Moorpark for their non-conference finale at 6 p.m. Friday.