One win, one loss in Mustang Classic


Cathie Lawrence

Los Medanos College volleyball player Ashley Dixon blocks the Merced College player’s offensive attempt.

Adria Watson and Carlos Ruiz

The Mustang Classic, a one-day tournament held Wednesday Sept. 6, allowed four teams — Merced College, San Jose City College, Contra Costa Community College and LMC — to play against one another before the start of the new season.

“With our new facility we want to have teams not in our conference come in and see our gym as well as give students a non traditional time to stop by and watch their friends play,” said Head Coach Lou Panzella.

The Mustangs played in two games during the tournament, the first against San Jose and the second versus Merced.

LMC dominated in their game against the San Jose Jaguars Wednesday afternoon, ending it in a 3-0 sweep.

With an unstoppable offense the Jaguars had no answer to, the game came easily in favor for the Stangs with not much problems facing them.

The Mustangs success in the first game failed to follow in the second as they endured a 3-0 loss against the Merced Blue Devils that evening.

Lack of communication on the court and errors made by LMC — passing the ball out of bounds or not moving their feet to get a good pass — gave the Blue Devils that domination over the Stangs.

“The first game I feel we were on our top,” said Dixon. “With some of the sloppier teams we’re more focused on finding our spots and seeing where they have open spots but with this game, the team was just really good.”

Even with that consistency in the first game Coach Panzella expressed that is something the team would have to continue to work on.

“Consistency of effort is something we are struggling with. We play really well but then at times seem to lose focus,” said Panzella.

But the Mustang Classic being a way to help the team get in competition mode adds to their preparation for the season kick-off.

“The more tournaments we play, the more playtime we get and the more playtime we get, the better we get,” said Dixon.

Cathie Lawrence
Los Medanos College volleyball player Nuru Boone spikes the ball past the San Jose Jaguars’ defense.

Returner and Co-Captain Samantha Rhodes echoed similar sentiments explaining that playing in tournaments like the Mustang Classic further benefits their preparation.

“The more experience we have the better it is when we go into the season because the more touches the better,” said Rhodes.

She added that this tournament is a way to get a sense of competition that they don’t necessarily receive when practicing against one another.

“When you play at practice you don’t get as much experience because we’re not working together against another team that is competitive but when you play against a real team in a real match, you have different experiences and that’s really important,” said Rhodes. “I think something that we need to take away to learn from this is to work as a team better.”