Women’s volleyball aces the top

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By Christian Bowers / Asst. Sports Editor

By Christian Bowers / Asst. Sports Editor

Becoming a part of the tradition and life of a Tiger here at RCC means more than anyone thinks.

The stripes conceal a tiger; help them blend in with their surroundings to help subdue their prey. The dark brown or black stripes cover a tiger from its head to the peak of its long tail but no tiger has the same pattern of stripes, making it difficult for their opponent to observe.

Starting up this years’ volleyball season, the Tigers have been using their paws to rip through the net and are making their territory difficult for their opponents to compete in.

Coming off their last win, the Tigers are moving up on the Orange Empire Conference quickly with an 11-1 standing. Previously ranked twelfth, the team sprung into seventh place, making an unequivocal statement to their oppositions that they are “ready to rumble.”

 “The OEC is the toughest conference in the state and every year teams in our conference have been finishing first or second. Last year, the OEC took first, second, and third in the State Championship,” said head coach Monica Hayes-Trainer. “We have the opportunity to finish first in the OEC but talent, good coaching and luck play a big role in this, and they all need to fall in place at the right time.”

The players are excited to start off the season on a good foot while at the same time, continuing the journey to a successful season.

“The difference from last year is that we are very determined, we study our opponents, and we trust each other in each position we may face to win this,” Brittney Diffiny said.

Close on and off the court, the Tigers build their relationship with each other to use that to their advantage when facing other teams.

“RCC has a good volleyball program. We have great team ethics, we grow and learn from each other, and we bring each other up when we are down,” outside hitter Nikki Bradbury announced when coming to RCC.  

 Their work ethics in the classroom play an immense role in adding to what their season holds for them. Each player has a particular responsibility to maintain individually in their academic studies.

“Academics are stressed and this year the players are working hard to receive several awards, team and individual, in that realm,” Hayes-Trainer said.

Making their first home game debut on Oct. 6, against Saddleback, the Tigers want to make a strong impression halfway through the regular season.

While preparing for future games, some teammates have pre-game rituals that they go through, like middle blocker Ashley Sanchez, who “listens to music and loves to laugh” to makes sure she’s “in a good mood and focused.”

“What I love about the game is the competitiveness and the high energy that the game brings out in everyone,” said defensive specialist Megan Johnson.

No one is perfect; everybody has to face challenges at some point or time. What Jillian Paul, one of the middle blockers, enjoys is that in the game of volleyball “we get a second chance to get things in order because it’s the best of five games.”

So as they practice, both physically, mentally and emotionally for their games ahead, Hayes-Trainer wants her players to reach their full potential as volleyball players as soon as possible.

In doing so and accomplishing this task at hand, it will take more than a win to knock this team down. The will and dedication of these tigers prove they are worthy of their stripes.

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