Aiming for a brighter season

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By Glen Willett / Staff Writer

Getting better (Allison Perez / Interim Photo Editor )

By Glen Willett / Staff Writer

After three straight years of incremental improvement under coach Monica Trainer the Riverside City College women’s volleyball team heads into the 2011 campaign looking to take the next step toward the state playoffs.

“The state tournament is always the ultimate goal,” said Trainer. The coach, who took over the team in 2008, has compiled a 51-32 regular season record thus far and has had a winning record every year she has been at the helm of the Tigers’ squad.

Trainer stresses that the team’s main focus at this point is urgency.

“Right now it’s all about running everywhere, getting into position quickly, closing out games in two sets instead of three and just urgency in general,” she said. “This team already has the physical ability, now it’s just a matter of getting caught up to that talent mentally.”

Last year’s Tigers’ squad compiled an 18-9 record last season while finishing 7-7 in the brutal Orange Empire Conference, which Trainer regards as the best in the state. A belief justified by the fact that six of the eight teams in the conference reached the regional playoffs last year.

“There’s a reason that they take six of our teams into the postseason. We all come into conference play pretty highly regarded because of our pre-season play and then in conference play we just beat each other up,” Trainer said in regards to the level of competition in the OEC.

The Tigers were eliminated in the first round of the southern regional tournament by OEC rival Irvine Valley College and finished No. 15 in the California Community College Athletic Association’s final state rankings.

Robyn Miller (1.94 kills per game) and Nikki Bradbury (1.62 kills per game) should both contribute in larger roles with the team this year. Samantha Severns looks to break out in 2011 after averaging 4.21 assists per game in 2011 despite appearing in just 24 games for the Tigers.

Riverside City College opens its season on Sept. 2 in Victorville at the Victor Valley Tournament. The first home contest takes place on Sept. 14 when the Tigers host the Grossmont College Griffins at 5 p.m.

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