Volleyball repeats success this year


Cathie Lawrence

Los Medanos College’s Ashley Dixon spikes the ball for the kill against Yuba College Nov. 3

After winning the Bay Valley conference in 2016, the 2017 Los Medanos College women’s volleyball team looked to repeat that success this past season. Yet despite not winning the division, this year gave the Mustangs accomplishments to look back upon.

The Stangs aimed to defend their title as the goal for their campaign. Despite winning only four out of the eight pregame scrimmages, the squad started on the right note winning the first two conference games against the Alameda Cougars at home and the Mendocino Eagles on the road.

Both games were 3-0 sweep victories, however they experienced their first defeat in their next conference game, falling victim to the Solano Community College Falcons in a sweep. The Falcons would continue to have similar performances with the rest of the teams in the Bay Valley Conference.

The Mustangs went on to win two out of the last three games, beating the College of Marin Mariners in their last game in the month of September. After the win over the Mariners the team gained momentum as October rolled around.

The Stangs went on an eight-game winning streak with six games ending in 3-0 set wins.  The streak snapped after losing to the Falcons again at home that eliminated the potential of going undefeated in October. Fortunately the hot streak boosted the team in playoff contention due to being behind undefeated Solano in the table that ultimately helped them later on.

With November being the make or break month for the teams on the verge of clinching a postseason spot, the Stangs got on the right foot with another sweep win over the College of Marin. Although they had a heartbreaking loss that went the distance against the Yuba College 49ers in their last home game that honored the Sophomore Stangs. The team achieved the task of winning their last two games in requirement to make playoffs by finishing in second place in the division behind undefeated Solano.

“Finishing first would’ve been better, but Solano was an exceptional team this year, they went through our conference without losing a set,” said head coach Lou Panzella.  “It’s the first time we have made playoffs 2 years in a row maybe in forever, we had twice as many wins as losses, we competed in all of our matches.”

Panzella continued to express his satisfaction by saying he was happy for the team making the playoffs and overcoming serious injuries at the end of the season and competed to the best of their ability.

Although they accomplished their goal of reaching the postseason, the season soon came to a finish, after losing in a sweep against the Hartnell College Panthers.
“We can always look back at what we could have done differently or better, but overall I think we had a really good season. We win and lose as a team, it took every member of the team to contribute in order for us to get to the playoffs,” said Panzella.

This season had several players landing in the top five in Bay Valley Conference offensive stats. Setter Erica Wilder finishing third in assists by averaging 7.73per set, middle-hitter Nuru Boone also finishing third in blocks per set with 0.84, and Jolero Sophia Clavido placed fifth in digs and digs per set.

The goal for next season is the same according to Panzella. “Compete, get the most out of our team. Do the best we can, play all out all the time.”