By Arcel Cunanan
After a disappointing win against Hartnell at the last home game, the City College women’s volleyball team showed much improvement in their Oct. 1 match against the Ohlone Renegades. The Rams defeated the Renegades in consecutive matches (25-17, 25-16, 25-18) and improved to 2-0 (7-8 overall) in conference play.
Though the Rams also took their last home match from the Hartnell Panthers, the team’s overall performance versus Hartnell did not meet the expectations of Head Coach Ed Parker and Associate Head Coach Aziza Bledsoe, as the event ended with a session of suicide drills.
“We decided to work after the game, because we didn’t work during the game,” Bledsoe said of the Sept. 17 game. “I would take a loss in which 120 percent effort was given, however I will not take a win that was not necessarily earned.”
Especially after a win, the suicides drills may have appeared as harsh punishment to spectators, however they were meant to be a friendly reminder to work harder next time around.
The coaches’ message to the team appeared to have an impact because the Rams had a boost of confidence and lifted spirits during the Ohlone match, which aided them in winning three straight matches.
Meghan McGuire, outside hitter and top player of the night played a solid game, said the suicides were the reason for her strong play. “The message definitely got across to us because we did not want to run tonight and we had to push ourselves,” McGuire said. “Now [the team] is communicating a lot more and becoming one unit.”
The Renegades fell short on hits, digs and blocks and all three games were not much of a challenge for the Rams. With several kills, strong defense and offense, and better communication on the court, the Rams were able to maintain their intensity.
“Well, it was a win. We definitely did better than our last home game. We had little moments when we were not exactly performing, but we came back. We’ll take it,” Bledsoe said. “We tend to come out and play when we have a challenge.”
The first and second games ended with the Rams working hard for the final point, as kills were not making it on court, though Ohlone gave away the wins as they served the ball out. By the middle of game 2, the Renegades’ spirit began to dissipate. The final score for Game 1 was 25-17 and 25-16 for Game 2.
During game three, the Rams struggled for sideouts as the Renegades gained the lead and kept a level of hope to win a game. Hoping to put an end to the Renegade’s sudden burst of liveliness, the Rams called a time-out. The third and final game ended with the score 25-18, as Ohlone continued to make small mistakes that slowly began to put weigh on the Renegades, eventually crushing their spirit, killing the team’s energy and focus to win.
McGuire scored the final point with an awesome kill that Ohlone was unable to return.
“Meghan McGuire did an excellent job today. She had really great swings and focused a lot during practice,” Bledsoe said. “I could see it during the game.”
As the season progresses, Parker expects his team to improve, and communicate better, even if they are down in a match.
“I expect us to have more consistency and mental focus, and communicate during times when the team is down,” Parker said. “But we’re getting better, and it showed tonight”.
The Rams next home game is Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Wellness Center, against De Anza College (196)