Volleyball team peaks in late season, says coach

Ramona High School girls volleyball coach Connie Halfaker was pleased with her team despite a loss to Valley Center Oct. 30 at Ramona.

The four-game loss to the Jaguars, who improved their record to 9-1 in Valley League competition, constituted improvement for the Bulldogs from their three-game loss at Valley Center Oct. 7.

The Jaguars’ 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-18 victory dropped Ramona to 4-6 in Valley League play and 9-17 overall but saw the Bulldogs play competitively throughout.

“We rallied like no other match that we’ve had,” Halfaker said. “The kids just did remarkable things.  All kinds of things happened that we’ve been working on.  It was very, very encouraging.”

Ironically, the satisfaction with the team’s performance came despite a handicap. Junior setter Bailey Kotas tore a tendon in her shoulder during track and field season and underwent surgery in early July. She returned to the lineup Oct. 30 after two days of practice.  

“Every setter has a little different touch, so the hitters have to do some adjusting,” Halfaker said. “Bailey was a little tired, and she kept her sense of humor.”

In Kotas’ absence, junior Morgan Gross and sophomore Grace Hallums spent time at setter.  Prior to Kotas’ injury, the plan was for Gross to replace Kotas as the varsity’s right side hitter and for Hallums to return to the junior varsity team for additional experience.

Kotas was able to play the entire match, and Hallums spent the four games on the bench. Gross was the Bulldogs’ right side hitter.  

“She did a real nice job,” Halfaker said of Gross. “It’s nice to have an experienced setter at right side.  She can still run our offense.”

The Bulldogs conclude the regular season today at home against Oceanside, and Ramona’s three seniors will be honored prior to the match.  

The playoff selection and seeding meeting will take place Saturday, and Halfaker is hoping for the Bulldogs to be seeded among the top eight Division II teams, which would provide one more home match.  

“I would like to see us go top six in the seeding,” Halfaker said.

Halfaker noted that despite the Bulldogs’ record, the team is beginning to peak late in the season.  

“I like where we are as a team,” she said.

   
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