Champions of the Sand

by Staff Apr 22, 2019

West Valley College – Going into their final two matches of the regular season against College of San Mateo and Fresno City College, there were two scenarios staring into the faces of the second place Gavilan College Beach Volleyball team.  Lose any of the matches and possibly end up in third place, or win both matches to end up in first place, winning the College’s first beach volleyball conference championship. As the sand settled on Friday, it was the latter scenario as the Rams powered through College of San Mateo 5-0 and Fresno City College 4-1 to win a share of the Coast Conference Championship.

With College of San Mateo fielding only three teams, the Rams had an immediate 2-0 lead as the top three pairs began their matches to start the day. It was the No.3 pairing of Flo Tukuaoga and Katelyn Viray who would clinch the dual for Gavilan as they finished their match first by a score of 21-6, 21-8. Just a few minutes later both the No.1 duo of Sarah Weiby with Mikeila Banda and the No. 2 pair of Katia Dizon and Keona Stopper would win their matches to complete the 5-0 victory for the Rams.  Weiby and Banda won by a score of 21-10, 21-13 while Dizon and Stopper came away with a 21-7, 21-18 victory.

With Fresno City losing earlier in the day to Foothill College, it set up a true winner take all match, as the Rams of Fresno City locked horn with the Rams of Gavilan College. Gavilan would jump out to a quick 2-0 lead in the dual after getting wins in the 4’s and 5’s matches. The first win came in the No. 4 pairing, as it was Evelyn Clonts and Melissa Zanotto defeating Lexi Kirkman and Gabby Verana by a score of 21-11, 21-16. Despite a very competitive second set in the No. 5 match, where both teams had a set point it was the duo of Lex Chavarria and Noel Chavarria defeating Abby Briggs and Linsday Unruh 21-13, 24-22.

Going into the second wave both teams now knew what it would take to come out a winner. Gavilan only had to win one of the three matches while Fresno City would have to sweep the remaining matches.

Flo and Juice celebratThe drama was quickly eliminated when the sound of jubilation came from court number four where the No. 3 pairs were playing. Celebrating a match win was the pair Gavilan pair of Tukuaoga and Viray as they defeated Marina Gonzalez and Kenidi MacDonald 21-14, 21-17 to give the dual and the championship to Gavilan. The next scoring match to finish was in the No.2 match were Gavilan’s Dizon and Stopper after a close set cruised to a 21-19, 21-8 victory. Fresno City would come away winners in the No.1 match as Mia Corripa and Katie Emmerling would go on to defeat Banda and Weiby 21-18, 21-14.

With the victory the Rams of Gavilan College would actually finish tied for first place in Coast Conference Play with West Valley College. The Vikings came into their final match of the year also in second place and had to knock off Cabrillo College, which they did 4-1 to earn their share of the Championship. 

The teams of the Coast Conference will take a few days off as they prepare of the Coast Conference Pairs tournament which will take place Friday April 26 at Gavilan College. The brackets and times will be announced in the days to follow.

Gavilan College def College of San Mateo 5-0

1. Mikeilan Banda/Sarah Weiby (Gav) def Sammy Johnson/Ihuoma Kanu (CSM) 21-10, 21-13

2. Katia Dizon/Keona Stopper (Gav) def  Megan Campbell/Anmol Sharma (CSM) 21-7, 21-18

3. Flo Tukuaoga/Katelyn Viray (Gav) def Jada Sealy/Tori Miranda (CMS) 21-6, 21-8

4. Evelyn Clonts/Melissa Zanotto (Gav) win by forfeit

5. Lex Chavarria/Noel Chavarria (Gav) win by forfeit

Gavilan College def Fresno City College 4-1

1. Mia Corripa/Katie Emmerling (FCC) def Mikeila Banda/Sarah Weiby (Gav) 21-18, 21-14

2. Katia Dizon/Keona Stopper (Gav) def Julie Castleman/Kele Weedman (FCC) 21-19, 21-8

3. Flo Tukuaoga/Katelyn Viray (Gav) def Marina Gonzalez/Kenidi MacDonald (FCC) 21-14, 21-17

4. Evelyn Clonts/Melissa Zanotto (Gav) def Lexi Kirkman/Gabby Verana (FCC) 21-11, 21-16

5. Lex Chavarria/Noel Chavarria (Gav) def Abby Briggs/Lindsay Unruh (FCC) 21-13, 24-22