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Ureno sparks Vaqueros to prestigious Brahma Invitational title

No. 22 SBCC upset No. 13 Butte, No. 3 Bakersfield and No. 4 Grossmont to capture the eighth annual Brahma Invitational.
No. 22 SBCC upset No. 13 Butte, No. 3 Bakersfield and No. 4 Grossmont to capture the eighth annual Brahma Invitational.

Kaylene Ureno recorded 33 kills and 20 digs on Saturday as No. 22 SBCC surprised a pair of highly ranked teams to claim the title of the Brahma Invitational women's volleyball tournament at L.A. Pierce in Woodland Hills.

The Vaqueros (10-4) extended their win streak to eight by rallying to beat No. 3 Bakersfield 3-2 (25-16, 22-25, 20-25, 25-18, 15-8) and No. 4 Grossmont 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-14) in the title match.

Seven of the eight teams in the two-day tourney were ranked in the top 22 in the state.

Ureno, a 5-9 opposite from Turlock, Calif., tied her career high with 18 kills vs. Bakersfield. She hit .292 and also had 12 digs and four blocks. In the sweep of Grossmont, Ureno drilled 15 kills and recorded eight digs. She had just one error in 26 swings for a sizzling .538 percentage.

"The team showed up ready to do battle today and leaders emerged on the court," said Vaquero assistant coach Dillan Bennett. "Our middles did an excellent job making solid reads and establishing a block for us and our serving was on target."

The Vaqueros had a season-high 16 aces vs. the Renegades (9-2) and hit .533 (9 kills, 1 error in 15 attacks) in the decisive fifth set.

Carolyn Andrulis had 17 kills, nine digs and six aces in the semifinal win. Avery Mulvey had a team-high 16 digs and Kiana Pisula recorded 42 assists, 11 digs and five blocks. Karissa Mertens added eight kills, nine digs and six aces. McKenzie Garrison had four kills, three aces and five blocks.

Andrulis and Mertens had six kills each in the sweep of the Griffins. Andrulis added seven digs for the Vaqueros, who hit a sparkling .372. They upped their percentage to .565 in the third set with 14 kills and one error.

"A pair of great all-around matches by our girls tonight," Bennett added. "We served lights out and blocked the best we have all season against a fast offense. This weekend will serve as a turning point in our season."

The Vaqueros will host No. 8 L.A. Pierce on Wednesday at 6 p.m.