Ramona High spikers split against Cougars, Golden Eagles
By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s girls volleyball team suffered a four-game loss to Escondido in the Bulldogs’ home opener on Sept. 23 but recovered with a three-game win Sept. 25 at San Pasqual.
“It seems to be the hallmark of this team,” said Coach Connie Halfaker. “If I bring in something, they’re going to learn it.”
Since Ramona’s six matches in the Palm Desert Tournament were not regulation-length and do not count in season records, the Bulldogs had a 3-2 record after the San Pasqual match and the loss to Escondido was the first of the season that went on the Bulldogs’ record.
“I would say it was serving,” Halfaker said of why the Cougars defeated Ramona.
The Bulldogs won the first game by a 25-20 score before the Cougars recovered to post 25-21, 25-16, and 25-23 victories.
“Escondido would speed up their pace and we didn’t respond,” Halfaker said. “We were allowing ourselves to be kind of overrun rather than responding. Then the worries kicked in, so we were playing a little bit on our heels and we made a lot of serving errors.”
Setter Mikayla Derochie led the Bulldogs with 32 assists, and she also had three blocks. Samantha Waelchli had 12 kills, and Nicole Darrough contributed 17 digs.
The Sept. 24 practice focused on what went wrong against Escondido, and the application of that resulted in the 25-19, 25-16, 25-20 win over San Pasqual.
“It was a very clean serving game. The focus was there, confidence, determination,” Halfaker said.
The test came in the third game when the Golden Eagles made some adjustments.
“They were just pushing,” Halfaker said of San Pasqual.
The Bulldogs hadn’t expected those adjustments but maintained their focus.
“They just kept playing,” Halfaker said of her team.
Derochie had 23 assists, three blocks and three serving aces against the Golden Eagles. Julie Vorhes and Jenna Hickle each had 11 digs, and Hickle led the team with nine kills.
“Everything I bring them they assimilate into the game and they assimilate it quickly,” Halfaker said.
The Bulldogs will spend tomorrow and Saturday competing in the Scripps Ranch Tournament.
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