By Haylee Qualls
By Haylee Qualls
In a close match on Oct 13, Riverside Community College fell to the No.1 team, Orange Coast. Despite RCC’s recent success, defeating Cypress and Saddleback in the past two matches, their defensive tactics were not enough to thwart off the No. 1 team.
RCC women’s volleyball was originally ranked No. 25 in the California Community College Volleyball Association Poll, but has recently climbed two places in the poll. Powerhouse schools such as Irvine, ranked 16, and Orange Coast, ranked No. 1, have been able to hold off RCC by only a couple of points. In fact, RCC fell short of victory against Irvine in an intense 30-27, 25-30, 24-30, 30-28, 15-10 battle.
After opening the conference with a win the team currently holds a 3-2 league record and is still in hot pursuit of success.
“I anticipate the girls to be very competitive this season. They have what it takes and are constantly working diligently towards excellence.” said head coach Gigi Tisdom. “Although, this year’s team is young and not as tall or experienced as their competition, they have learned to take their strengths of quickness, defense and offensive complexity to compensate, and they have been successful.”
In fact, they have been successful enough to beat out three opposing teams and break a couple of school records along the way. On the Oct. 11 match against Cypress, RCC freshman Mariza Figueroa managed to make a school record breaking 44 kills. Thus far, Figueroa has had 366 kills this season, the highest amount on the women’s team. She also contributed to over half of the 111 digs made by the team, assisting in yet another school record breaker.
Freshman Stacy Vanden Raadt has also been on the offensive, having made 359 digs this season, the highest of the women’s team. She’s managed 138 kills this season and averages about 11 per game. According to Tisdom, one of the greatest tasks is making her team workable.
“I feel any team performing, as a unit is a huge challenge for the coach, especially at the JC level because each individual brings a unique style and personality to the team.” said Tisdom. “I think the challenge for a coach is to identify those styles and personalities quickly and place the player into collaborating roles on the team to strategically promote teamwork, dedication and most important unity.”
The team continues to grow as more players achieve their “personal best”.
“As a team we know that understanding who we are, our capabilities and shortcomings will only enhance our team’s performance.” said Tisdom. “So we take this part of the job seriously.”
Alicia Roe demonstrated a career-high during the Irvine game. She was successful with 28 digs, 4 blocks, and 13 kills. She, as well as sophomore Jasmin Rivas, consistently contribute to the amount of digs placed in a game, displaying double-digits almost every match.
As the season carries on coach Tisdom holds high hopes for the team.
“I feel they have what it takes to upset their competition and if they continue to enhance their technical skills and mental toughness RCC can definitely find themselves competing for the title. It is essential for us to maintain our level and style of play and not allow our competition to covert us over to their game style.”
Women’s volleyball travels to Santa Ana Oct. 25 hoping to defeat the Dons once again.