The Renegade Rip

BC volleyball gets swept in finals by defending champs

Nestor Fernandez, Reporter

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On a scorching hot weekend in the San Diego Mesa Tournament on Sept. 14-15, the Bakersfield College volleyball team played Victor Valley and San Diego Mesa  on Friday, then El Camino and Pierce College on Saturday.

In the four matches, BC won three, and lost only its final match to Pierce, who is the defending back-to-back State Champion, and is ranked No. 1 in the state.

Against Victor Valley, BC posted a 25-9, 25-22, 25-10 straight sets victory, then came back later and produced a hard fought five-set victory over San Diego Mesa, 25-16, 21-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-10. In the second day of matches, they squared off against El Camino in the first match, and won in a tight straight sets victory, 25-18, 31-29, 26-24.

Then in the final match against Pierce, BC fought hard before falling in straight sets, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20.

They are now 6-1 for the season, and have only lost to the defending state champion. Leading the team after seven games is Caitlin Bernardin with 115 kills and 16 aces, Samantha Whittington has 239 assists, and Monica Barksdale has 142 digs.

BC Coach Carl Ferreira talked about the successful back-to-back weekends in San Diego, along with dealing with the adversity of the travel, especially the hot weather.

“I’m very pleased with our overall play, how well our players managed the weekend by taking care of how you prepare, it’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s 108 degrees outside and no AC in the building,” he said.

“So the elements obviously affected both sides, but I’m pleased with how well we managed to play.

“Overall, we’re siding out real well, we’re terminating rallies well, we’re pleased with our mental skills, we don’t have any roller-coaster emotions within the game,” continued Ferreira.

“We really sustain a nice high level of execution, because of not reacting to the previous play.”

When asked about the loss to Pierce, Ferreira had this to say, “We lost in the finals to Pierce, who’s the back-to-back defending state champions, and currently ranked No. 1 in the state, so that’s who we dropped the match to.

“It’s a good barometer for us, good to understand that we can play at that level.”

In the first two road games of its season, BC traveled to Grossmont College in El Cajon, San Diego.

They proceeded to play in games against two of the four teams in the Grossmont Quad on Sept. 7 and 8.

The Renegades defeated Grossmont in the first match, winning in straight sets, 25-14, 25-21, 25-22.

Against San Diego Mesa, they again prevailed in straight sets, winning it 25-23, 25-20, 25-20. Cuesta College was the other team among the four that participated.

In the match against Grossmont, BC started off with a dominant first set (25-14), then it tightened considerably in the final two sets.

Overall, they weren’t able to get their team goal of a .405 kill rate, finishing at .326 (31 kills in 95 attempts), but got the job done nonetheless.

Against SD Mesa, the Renegades posted an impressive .500 kill rate (51 kills in 102 attempts).

“After being at home for a month, just training, and you create an environment in your own gym about how you do everything that you do, it’s always very different to travel, and be able to take your mindset into a distracted area,” said Ferreira.

“There’s a reason why home winning percentages are better than road winning percentages, so I was very excited that number one, we had the chance to play two very outstanding teams, and I thought we performed very well.

“Our coaches had done an exceptional job of preparing the team, and really paying attention to the little details. That’s all we talk about constantly; it’s all about learning, what we can improve upon to be better,” Ferreira said.

“Overall, our passing, that phase of the game, I thought was outstanding, because that gave our point scorers a chance to stay in rhythm.”

BC will play  at Santa Barbara City College on Sept.22.

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BC volleyball gets swept in finals by defending champs