Ramona High School hosted the Fall Classic freshman girls volleyball tournament Oct. 17 at the Epic Volleyball Center in Poway, which saw the Bulldogs reach the quarterfinals of the tournament’s championship bracket.
“Their basics are amazing,” Coach Connie Halfaker said of the Ramona freshman players coached by Michelle Winchell and Cierra Owens. “The girls are disciplined.”
The Fall Classic consisted of 20 teams who began competition with pool play. Ramona’s first pool play match was a 25-17, 25-21 victory over Rancho Buena Vista, who would eventually win the tournament’s consolation bracket. The Bulldogs then faced eventual pool winner Canyon Crest and lost a pair of 25-14 games to the Ravens.
Ramona’s final pool play match was against University City. The Centurions took a 25-23 victory in the first game, but Ramona evened the match with a 25-20 triumph in game two. The third and deciding game ended with a 15-7 score in University City’s favor.
Because Rancho Buena Vista had defeated University City, a three-way tie for second place in the pool and the final spot in the championship bracket existed. Ramona’s 3-4 record in games edged University City’s 3-5 mark as well as Rancho Bernardo’s 2-5 figure, sending the Bulldogs to the championship bracket.
The elimination matches all consisted of a single game to 25 points. In Ramona’s first elimination match, the Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals with a 25-12 win over Granite Hills.
“Our girls played really, really well,” Halfaker said. “They reached the next level of play as a team.”
Cathedral Catholic ended Ramona’s tournament play with a 25-10 victory.
“They did very well against Cathedral,” Halfaker said. “They were able to play with them, just not earn the points.”
Cathedral then took a 25-21 semifinal win over Grossmont while La Costa Canyon earned a 25-22 semifinal victory over Valley Center.
Cathedral captured the tournament championship with a 25-23 win over the Mavericks in the finals. Rancho Buena Vista won the consolation bracket championship with a 25-23 victory in the finals over La Jolla Country Day.
Cathedral outside hitter Hannah Bullman was named as the tournament’s most valuable player. The all-tournament team also included Cathedral middle blocker Jennifer Morgan, La Costa Canyon outside hitter Jade Vitt, La Costa Canyon opposite hitter Alex Visser, Grossmont libero Jaysena Reyes, and Valley Center middle blocker Vanessa Heredia.
Ramona will host a junior varsity tournament this Saturday at the Epic Volleyball Center.