Volleyball: SRJC goes to championship for fourth straight year

James L. Alban, Sports Editor

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The women’s volleyball team picked the right time of year to get hot. They beat Fresno City College 25-21, 25-19, 18-25, 16-25, 15-8 on Nov. 30, giving them a 15 match winning streak and advancing them to the state final four in Southern California.

Head Coach Kelly Wood was excited about the victory. “I am in a little bit of shock after the way the match was going.” The first two sets, the Lady Bear Cubs were in complete control. The Lady bear Cubs looked like a well-oiled machine. They were winning the long rallies. They were serving well.

The third did not go well for the Lady Bear Cubs. They were outplayed. At one point they lost nine of 13 points.  “I was not surprised how we played in the third,” Wood said. A late rally by the Lady Bear Cubs made the score appear closer than it really was. “Our serve receive and passing broke down. They came out with all this energy and fire and we just broke down. We lost it mentally,” Wood said.

The fourth set the lady Bear Cubs could not punch their ticket to state. Once again their receive serve was not going well and the Rams dominated the entire set. “After winning the first two in dominant fashion then getting destroyed in the third and fourth set. I tried to emphasize; let it go. Forget about it. It’s over. Brand new game. Game five,” Wood said.

The fifth set the Rams had all the momentum. They won the previous two sets easily, and it looked like the Lady Bear Cubs was crumbling under the pressure. However, the Lady Bear Cubs matched the Lady Rams intensity and they won the fifth set. “We got a good start. We got some energy flowing through us again. We pretty much were in control in the fifth set,” Wood said.

The Lady Bear Cubs’ road to the third round of NorCal was an easy one. They crushed Siskiyous in straight sets. Then the Lady Bear Cubs got the better of Foothill College.

This is the fourth straight year the Lady Bear Cubs have made the state final.  Head coach Wood has experinace in coaching a team to the state final but is not sure if that will matter. “Unfortunately only four of them were on last year’s team. We don’t have a lot of experience but that could work in our favor. We can go down there and not know what to expect and go after it. We are going to go and play aggressively as we can,” Wood said.

They will play the number one team of the Southern California on Dec. 4.

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