August 31, 2013
Woodland Hills, CA-
The last time the Gavilan College Rams traveled this far south for a match was back in 2009. There is a good reason why many of you don’t remember that road trip, the opponent that day was Santa Barbara City College, and if you blinked, you might have missed the match. It was a quick three set loss for the Rams that lasted less than 45 minutes. So this year, the defending Coast Conference South Champions hit the road to play not one, but three matches in Southern California. On the schedule was Chaffey College who finished last year 16-6, Yavapai College who is an NJCAA Division 1 team from Arizona, and the L.A. Pierce who is the defending 3 time State Champion. Pierce hasn’t lost a match since the 2010 season accumulating a 96-2 record in that time. For Gavilan, it seemed like a daunting task to say the least.
The Ram’s opened up the 2013 season with a four set victory over Chaffey College 25-13,26-28,25-20,25-18. Continuing from where she left off last season, sophomore setter Sabina Gerard (Redlands,CA)lead the way with 52 assists. On the receiving side of those sets were sophomore hitters Tazi Apple (San Jose, CA) who had not only a team high but also a career high of 22 kills, and Jessica Stofer (Prundedale, CA) chimed in with 13 kills of her own. Freshman Savanna Hartman (Morgan Hill, CA) finished the match with a .435 hitting percentage with 10 kills on 23 swings and no hitting errors. Also chipping in after missing the entire 2012 season with a knee injury was Freshman Ryan Asp (Hollister, Ca) with 6 kills. Defensively, the Rams were led by sophomore Libero Karina Daniels (Gilroy, Ca) and freshman defensive specialist Realynn Heredia (Hollister, CA) who had team highs of 21 digs each.
The second match of the day saw the Ram’s fall to Yavapai College in four sets, 20-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-25. Offensively Gavilan was led in kills by Apple (17), Stofer (8), fellow sophomore Andreinna Castaneda (Modesto, Ca) who finished with 7 kills, and 36 assist from Gerard. On the back end of the defensive was Daniels with 18 digs and freshman Daisy Valladares (Salinas, CA) with 17 of her own.
Then came the main event, the prime time match versus the Brahmas of Pierce College. In what could be described as one of the biggest wins in program history, the Rams came out victorious in three set 25-16, 25-12, and 25-22. Despite playing in their third match, the Ram’s showed some jitters early and found themselves down early in the first set 2-6. Quickly, Gavilan came back on a 9-2 run to make it 11-8 and the Ram’s never looked back. This time Gerard, who had 29 assists, used a balanced attack with Apple (11 kills), Hartman (8 kills) Castaneda (6 kills) and Stofer (6 kills) to keep the Brahmas defense off balanced all night long. But the real story of the game was the defense of the Rams. With tuff serving and a tenacity to dig ball after ball, the defense left few places for Pierce to swing, forcing the Brahmas into many hitting errors. Daniels, Heredia, Valladares, and sophomore Brittani Siaz (Prunedale, Ca) combined to have 61 digs. The final point for the Ram’s fittingly came after one final dig, with the ball being put away by Hartman.
With a record of 2-1 the Ram’s will take to the road once again in Santa Rosa on Friday the 6th for two matches against Feather River College, who finished last season ranked 5th in the state, and the home team Santa Rosa Junior College who finished 3rd in the state last year.