November 27, 2013
Modesto, CA- In a year which saw old records fall at an amazing pace, it should be no surprise that the Gavilan College Volleyball team achieved another first last night. The Rams the 10th seed in the CCCAA Nor-Cal Regional Playoffs took on the 7th seeded home team Modesto College and came away with the programs first ever road playoff victory with a 3 set to 1 win.
The first set was a tightly contested one, in which no team led by more than three points throughout the set. Gavilan had to regain the lead five different times until it was tied at 26 when back to back kills by Tazi Apple and Andreinna Castaneda ended the set at 28-26 .For Castaneda it was her first time in her Gavilan College career where the former Modesto High Alumni got to play a college volleyball match in her hometown.
In the second set, it was a series of play which included a kill by Savanna Hartman, a Castaneda block and two kills by Ryan Asp and Gavilan was quickly up 5-1. From that point it was all Rams who went on a several runs including an 8-3 run before libero Karina Daniels delivered a blind over the shoulder back set to Apple who put the ball away to finish the set 25-21.
The Pirates of Modesto College were not going down without a fight and jumped out to 8-3 to start the third. Back to back kills by Hartman and Apple brought the Rams within three points of the lead at 13-16.However they would never get closer than that falling 16-25.
The fourth set started like the first set, where both teams match each other point for point until the score showed the Rams up 6-5. From that point the Rams took control of the set behind a 17-10 run to take a 23-15 lead. With the home crowd behind them, the Pirates answered back with a 4-1 run of their own to get the score to 24-20. That was as close as it would get because Gerard dished out her final assist of the night to Hartman on the very next play which gave the Rams a 25-20 set win and a three set to one victory.
The offense for the Rams as it has all season started with Gerard, who distributed 45 assists on the night to seven different Rams. After getting off to a slow start, Apple (18 kills) led the way followed by Hartman (10 kills), Stofer (9 kills), Castaneda (8 kills) and Asp (5 kills).
The heart and soul of this year’s team is the defense which came up with 80 combined digs by nine different Rams. Daniels had a team high of 24 digs, with Valladares(16 digs), Gerard (11 digs), Raelynn Heredia (10 digs). Celebrating her 19th birthday was Brittani Siaz who came up with 9 digs of her own.It was Castaneda and Asp who had a block party at the net with 4 blocks a piece.
The Rams will now prepare to take on the 2nd seeded American River College on Saturday in Sacramento. American River won the only match between the two teams in three sets earlier in the year during 5th/6th place match of the prestigious Delta College tournament. Gavilan with the win improves their overall record to 22-7,the most wins by any Ram volleyball team. First serve for Saturday night’s game will beat 7:00 p.m. Go Rams!!